Community garden welcomes all comers

The team at SWAMP

SWAMP or Sustainable Wetlands Agricultural Makers Project is a community garden in Tuggerah run by locals who are promoting sustainable gardening, and fostering the connection between health and the land, as well as linking the community to each other and to the art of gardening.

The community garden is run by volunteers who run programs on how to grow different plants, how they can be cooked and how you can set up your own garden at home.

“Whether people are here in person or joining us on social media, the community garden is a great space for connecting other humans to each other and learn some really valuable skills,” said SWAMP co-founder, Sue Bradley.

The garden also welcomes various organisations to participate in a wide range of activities such as the recently founded Foodie Nature Play Group, which caters to preschool aged children who explore the wetlands and sing songs and eat produce grown on site every Wednesday.

On Thursdays, Youth Connect comes to the garden to learn valuable life skills such as mowing lawns and gardening.

The Glen Centre, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre, also help at the garden regularly, assisting in gardening and building structures such as new garden beds.

SWAMP is also planning to get St Philips Christian College’s DALE program to come in regularly to get its students connected to gardening.

“It’s a community project and it really is a credit to the team,” said Bradley.

“We’re focusing on more education, and social media and webinars as well as other online events to get the community involved in the garden.

“We’ve received so much positive feedback from the community and we have seen the benefits of being involved in the garden such as better mental health,” said Bradley.

Recently, Doyalson RSL donated $2,000 to help build garden beds for the winter crop.

SWAMP at Tuggerah is not the only community garden on the Coast, with other gardens located in Berkely Vale, Bateau Bay, Gwandaland/Summerland Point, and San Remo.

A list of all the community gardens can be found on the Central Coast Council’s website.

“We’re a part of that network and it’s a beautiful network that we have regular meetings with,” said Bradley.

Harry Mulholland