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Support from residents and the Wellbeing Place

Grawin boys Kane Chandler, Colin McKay and Brad Chandler. Photo TWH

Lightning Ridge Community Garden

For a decade, Nicholas Nelson and Ana Vastag have dedicated their time and effort to nurture the thriving Community Gardens in Lightning Ridge, growing fresh fruit and vegetables for all to enjoy.

Despite their unwavering commitment, the tireless duo often found themselves tending to the gardens alone.

And the recent shortage of volunteers willing to contribute their time for two hours a day had left the pair in a bit of a drought.

A few months ago, The Western Herald featured a story on the gardens, appealing to gardening enthusiasts and those eager to learn to come forward as volunteers.

Thankfully, it seems the call from Nick and Ana call did not go unanswered.

The community has witnessed a break in the volunteer drought, and it’s a heartwarming development.

A few weeks ago, three new residents of the Grawin Opal Fields decided to visit the gardens to see the incredible work Nick and Ana have been doing.

One of the new volunteers, Kayne said “we had come to town for some errands, and after talking to Nick, he loaded us up with fresh veggies at no cost.”

“So, the next time we returned, we decided to return the favour and help. They are great people, and it feels good to support them just as they supported us.”

Recognising the increasing need for assistance, local Rotary member Joan Treweeke reached out to Sara Smith, the Community Engagement Officer of the Royal Flying Doctors Wellbeing Team.

Joan wanted to explore the possibility of a program that could benefit Nick and Ana while also providing advantages for clients who visited the Wellbeing Place.

From this conversation, the GROW Lightning Ridge Community Garden group was born.

The group’s primary objective is to foster a sense of community through gardening, bringing people together and potentially nurturing their green thumbs. […]

Read more in the printed edition of The Western Herald.

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