Rouse Hill Times - - NEWS - Lawrence Machado

FOR YEARS the Se­cret Gar­den at the Western Sydney Univer­sity at Rich­mond has been more than a meet­ing place or a get­away for the com­mu­nity

The pop­u­lar­ity of the gar­den has pro­vided it with the means to sup­port the com­mu­nity in a much big­ger and bet­ter way.

This month the Se­cret Gar­den and Nurs­ery is mov­ing to more than 6ha of land at Cly­des­dale Lane, also in Rich­mond, as the North West Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices, which runs it, looks to ex­pand.

North West Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Deb­o­rah Gers­bach said the gar­den was funded by com­mu­nity con­tri­bu­tions and she is looking for volunteers to help them be­fore and af­ter the move, set for April 18.

“We are so thrilled with the de­vel­op­ments and the amaz­ing num­ber of com­mu­nity mem­bers who have vol­un­teered to con­trib­ute their time to the cre­ation of the gar­den and its projects,’ Ms Gers­bach said. “Ev­ery time a new per­son comes to the site they bring a new idea or sug­ges­tion that adds to the many ac­tiv­i­ties and cre­ative de­vel­op­ments.

“We are open to all the com­mu­nity and wel­come other or­gan­i­sa­tions which might see an op­tion to en­gage with the new Se­cret Gar­den or even make it a home base.

“The new Se­cret Gar­den is truly a won­der­ful new com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity for the peo­ple of the Hawkes­bury and wider Sydney dis­tricts.

“With vis­i­tors from across Aus­tralia and over­seas, it is fast be­com­ing a unique and cre­ative demon­stra­tion of how com­mu­nity can come to­gether and design a place where peo­ple can meet, learn, con­trib­ute, have fun, get their hands dirty, chip in, of­fer sug­ges­tions, ex­er­cise, con­nect with na­ture and an­i­mals, sculpt, paint, design and leave their mark.”

She thanked the com­mu­nity, or­gan­i­sa­tions, spon­sors and groups in­clud­ing visits from the US branch of the YMCA for their sup­port.

The sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions who use the Se­cret Gar­den in­clude Rid­ing for Dis­abled, Rich­mond Cen­tre, Hawkes­bury Val­ley Men’s Shed, well-es­tab­lished mud brick build­ing cour­ses and Lib­erty Horse skills train­ing.

There is can­dle mak­ing, land­scap­ing in­struc­tion, mu­sic and art pro­grams, a re­cy­cling project, cre­ative arts, gar­den­ing, a WSU stu­dents’ farm, chil­dren’s hol­i­day pro­grams, farm an­i­mals and other ac­tiv­i­ties.

To help, call 9686 4155.

Wel­come to the plant shop at the Se­cret Gar­den in Rich­mond. Be­low: The Mens’ Shed (left) and one of the an­i­mals on site in the grounds of Western Sydney Univer­sity.

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