The garden occupies a space just outside the gates of the centre and was created as a way to not only remember Nicky’s impact but also to continue her legacy of educating the centre’s children about the origins and benefits of food.
The project to create the garden in Nicky’s memory was inspired by New Lambton’s educational leader Kirsty Parker, who saw first-hand the connection that was shared with the centre’s children.
“Nicky brought a massive smile to the whole centre and the children loved her,” Ms Parker said.
“The children who knew Nicky best in our centre have now gone on to school, but her memory is strong and all the children know about ‘Nicky’s Garden’ and that we made it to remember someone.
“She included the children in her work, preparing meals and serving food, and was passionate about teaching children where food came from, how it is grown and how we use it.”
Children at the centre were busy helpers as the garden was created and had the opportunity to learn about planting, care and maintenance, and soil preparation.
“Gardening, like most activities involving nature, is a rich learning experience for children,” Ms Parker said.
“Initially the soil in this area of the centre was quite poor so the children helped to improve it by adding compost from our kitchen. This gave us the opportunity to talk about what worms do in the soil and how that helps plants.
“The children are active in the garden every week with watering and weeding, and they love the opportunity to harvest oranges, tomatoes, strawberries and parsley.
“We’ll continue to develop the garden, it provides a wonderful learning opportunity for the children which Nicky would cherish.”