Building connections the aim of community garden
An excursion to a community garden has kicked off a commitment to sustainability and conservation at Goodstart Corowa.
School-aged children from the centre recently visited the Corowa Tree of Life Community Garden where they collected herb seeds to start their own garden. They have also been collecting leaves from the centre’s three oak trees to donate back to Tree of Life for use as mulch.
It’s all part of the centre’s commitment to the environment and a conscious effort to encourage children to be thoughtful in the decisions they make every day.
“The initial excursion created a lot of excitement about visiting the community garden to see what else we can learn and help with,” centre director Lisa Raggett said.
The team have created herb and vegetable gardens at the front of the centre, planted with strawberries, carrots, radishes and herbs including coriander, basil and parsley.
“Families will be able to take fruit, vegetables and herbs from the gardens and when we have an abundance we’ll harvest it and offer it to parents with recipes.”
Ms Raggett said teaching children about sustainability and working with the community had many benefits.
“It’s a great way to build more connections in our local community, make the most of the wealth of knowledge the people at the community garden have, and use their ideas to implement and change the practices at our centre.”
She said the children at the centre were very eager to visit the community garden again, with further excursions were planned for the school holidays.
Griffith University Cities Research Institute director Paul Burton said people were creating more community gardens for social and environmental reasons.
He said community gardens could provide people with an opportunity to come together, grow and learn to grow fruit and vegetables and to care for a place in the neighbourhood – all of which provide the foundations for community development.
As a not-for-profit social enterprise, Goodstart Early Learning’s vision is to operate as an integral part of the local community with centres becoming part of the continuum of the support families need to thrive.
“I really feel that what we’re doing here at Corowa, while in its early days, will be great for the families and children at the centre, but also for the wider community,” Ms Raggett said.