Gar­dens suc­cess a rea­son to party

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS -

The Waitaki Com­mu­nity Gar­dens cel­e­brated its sixth birth­day on Sun­day.

Gar­dens co-or­di­na­tor Sophia de la Barra said the gar­dens had been well re­ceived since open­ing in late 2008 and it’s the vol­un­teers who have helped shape it into what it is to­day.

It is now vis­ited by peo­ple who vol­un­teer their ser­vices, come to learn or sim­ply to en­joy the gar­dens.

‘‘We have around 150 to 200 vol­un­teers visit ev­ery month. They do any­thing from gen­eral weed­ing, wa­ter­ing and look­ing af­ter their own plots to build­ing,’’ de la Barra said.

‘‘We also had a re­ally fan­tas­tic group come through the poly­tech for their seed to ta­ble class. They all shared their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘ It’s [ also] great to see how many peo­ple come up for walks with their fam­i­lies just to see.’’

The gar­dens have also been used by schools and other lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions for classes and ex­cur­sions.

Cel­e­bra­tions of the spe­cial day took place on Sun­day in the shape of a Pizza Pinata Party.

Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity en­joyed an af­ter­noon of mu­sic, art, food and games at the gar­dens.

Oa­maru- based band Reed Street Posse and Dunedin-based Whiskey and the Wench were the day’s en­ter­tain­ment, both play­ing a kids set that in­cluded in­ter­ac­tive songs.

Lo­cal artist Amanda Den­nis was there for a gar­den fairy mak­ing work­shop, the cre­ations of which hung on the gar­dens’ lat­tice walls.

Lots of ‘‘old school’’ party games were played, in­clud­ing a sack race, a wheel­bar­row race where one per­son is pushed in a wheel­bar­row by an­other wear­ing a bucket on their head, as well as an egg and spoon race.

There was also an op­por­tu­nity to make your own pizza, a pinata and the oblig­a­tory birth­day cake.

De la Barra said there were al­ready some plans in place to fur­ther de­velop the gar­dens in the fu­ture in­clud­ing de­vel­op­ing a fruit and nut ‘‘ food for­est’’ on an ad­di­tional acre of land.

They are also open to ideas from the com­mu­nity.

‘‘If peo­ple come to us with ideas for projects we can make it hap­pen,’’ she said.

Gar­den mu­sic: Oa­maru band Reed Street Posse were one of two bands in charge of the live en­ter­tain­ment at the Waitaki Com­mu­nity Gar­dens sixth birth­day bash.

Sum­mer gar­den: From left, Dave Her­bert, Craig Lory, Mark Al­lan and Waitaki Com­mu­nity Gar­dens co-or­di­na­tor Sophia de la Barra en­joy the af­ter­noon’s fes­tiv­i­ties in the sum­mer sun.

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