Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Apprentices assist Community Greening

Ben Meyer, a 4th year Horticultural Apprentice at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, recently spent a day helping out at an event during the school holidays with the Trust’s Elizabeth Docking from Community Greening. Ben was a valuable person on the day, enthusiastically offering advice about all sorts of plants and helping with delivering the larger plants to resident’s homes in the local area.

With the help of some enthusiastic local children and TAFE students, Ben and Elizabeth set up the van-load of plants and pots from Eden Gardens in the style of a nursery. They were originally going to do this at the Oasis Toongabbie Community Garden but the bad weather made the Karabi Community Centre, only walking distance away, a much more attractive venue.

Adults had fun too and registered to receive a number of free plants and advice, a Gardening Australia magazine and entered a ‘what am I’ plant competition to win a fabulous Northcote pottery pot.

Ben’s not the first 4th year apprentice to take his skills ‘beyond the Garden walls’. Joel Cohen helped the Youth Community Greening team prepare resources for their School Garden Teacher Professional Development Day earlier this year.
Joel helped create a short film at Willmot Public School, featuring the children, their teacher Mrs Harris and the feathered stars of the show, the two chooks that are residents of the Community Garden.

Joel’s expertise with technology, great and small, was invaluable as were the hours of personal time his Horticultural Supervisor, Troy Mason, spent editing the hours of film footage.

One of the aims of the Youth Community Greening program is to encourage youth to consider horticulture as a career. Including apprentices in events such as Arbor Day and school holiday events provides young people with excellent role models in the field. The apprentices talk to the students while working beside them, giving them inspiration and possibly seeding ideas for the future that they had not previously considered.

Click here for further reading on the Community Greening and Youth Community Greening outreach programs.

Ben Meyer and community garden volunteer Judy Toomey