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Community Greening wins national award of excellence for Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s community gardening program, Community Greening, has won the national Community Program of the Year Award at the Parks & Leisure Australia National Awards of Excellence 2017 this week on the Gold Coast.
Community Greening provides garden-based learning experiences for social housing communities and at risk youth across the state.
The program was awarded for its contribution to the establishment and growth of more than 340 community gardens and 287 youth-led gardens from ‘Blacktown to Bourke’.
Since its inception in 2000, Community Greening has reached more than 100,000 participants.
Commenting on the success of the initiative, Kim Ellis, Executive Director of Sydney’s Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands, stated “for 17 years we have strived to promote social cohesion and help communities tackle adversity through the joy of gardening – all while creating future advocates for the environment.
“Our results speak for themselves. Participants surveyed about the direct impact of the program said 85% felt it positively affected their health, 91% said it had a positive effect on their community, 73% are exercising more and 61% are eating better.
“This award is not only a credit to the Garden’s Community Greening team, but the great organisations who provide support for the program and the communities who truly embrace our community gardens with open arms.
“The greatest reward is always with the ‘small wins’ – seeing the gardens grow and communities flourish, but to be recognised at a national level reinforces the true value of the work and outcomes this program achieves.”
Community Greening is a non-profit program funded by NSW Family and Community Services, corporate partner Bloomberg, philanthropic support from the Eden Foundation and John T Reid Charitable Trusts, as well as in-kind sponsorship from a range of horticultural suppliers.
Images: Community Greening at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (top and middle) and Kim Ellis (below).
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