Major school garden project draws in community involvement

Abby (with sketch) and the rest of Bianca Wicks' 3/4 year class with community liaison officer Kim Rhodes and Commonweath Bank Tenterfield branch manager Debbie Minns discuss the plans for the new garden.
Abby (with sketch) and the rest of Bianca Wicks' 3/4 year class with community liaison officer Kim Rhodes and Commonweath Bank Tenterfield branch manager Debbie Minns discuss the plans for the new garden.

Plans to build on the sense of community at The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School – both within the school and in its wider setting – have received a major boost with a $10,000 donation from the Commonwealth Bank.

The donation is one of 1000 Centenary Grants being issued by from the CommBank Foundation this summer and the school was one of the first recipients, thanks to its nomination by local bank staff. The 100-year-old foundation is funded by salary contributions from current and past employees, matched by the bank.

“We’re thrilled to be able to support organisations like The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School in the important work they do for our local community,” Tenterfield branch manager Debbie Minns said.

She credited the school’s community liaison officer Kim Rhodes with investing many hours in background work to see the sizeable donation come to fruition. 

While the bank’s and other donations will certainly see the project get underway, Mrs Rhodes stressed it is a long-term undertaking and more support will be required to see the plan through to completion in years to come.

A sketch of the major native garden project at The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School,

A sketch of the major native garden project at The Sir Henry Parkes Memorial Public School,

The plan involves overlaying the existing quadrangle with a system of boardwalks and gravel paths interconnecting and providing access to gathering spots, all emanating from a hub serving as the central meeting place. Bush tucker and other native plantings will add points of interest to the area.

The first phase will be to establish the boardwalk and pathways, with the school seeking to choose a boardwalk material that’s safe, low-maintenance and eco-friendly. Gardening guru Caroline Robinson has recommended a range of plants which will be sourced from local nurseries, as will as much of the materials and services as possible.

This – together with offers of landscaping skills and other inputs over the life of the multi-year project – is in line with the school’s aims to make the garden a long-term community investment and asset.

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