Centre planting seeds of success for community

OFFICIALLY launched at their AGM on Friday, the community garden at Coolaburoo Neighbourhood Centre in Padstow, has been growing for a couple of months.

Manager Rossanna Umansky said the garden had been in the pipeline for about four years but everything finally came together perfectly this year, including enthusiastic volunteers and funding from Revesby Workers’ Club.
“We also have a separate children’s garden project funded by the Department of Community Services which is proving just as popular,” she said.
“Everything in there has a reason and a purpose and a story. It even has a nursing home inspired by our pen pal program between the children and aged care residents.”
A regular at Coolaburoo, 18-year-old Liz McLeod helped create the children’s garden and is happy to admit she had “a few issues” when she first started doing activities at the centre five years ago.
Now completing her first year at university studying social sciences with a major in Psychology, she says the support she found helped change her life.
“They have been amazing and thanks to them I have turned my life around,” she said.
Youth programs officer Sylwia Kowalik says everything in both the gardens is fully organic and growing well, adding that they expect to harvest their first crop, which looks like being broccoli, very soon.
“We thought that the broccoli was actually a lettuce at first,” she said with a laugh.
“We originally planned to lay everything out carefully but in the end it was a bit of a mix up and we aren’t really sure what ended up where.
“I do think the reason everything has grown so well is the love and care and effort from all the staff and volunteers alike.”