A GROUP of Cohuna youths are redeveloping the town’s retirement village garden.
The Cohuna and District Leo Club members have been weeding, trimming and planting since 2014 to transform the overgrown Cohuna Retirement Village courtyard into a usable gathering space.
Leo club adviser, Lee Walkington said the Leos interviewed residents to determine their preferences for redevelopment of the space, with the overwhelming majority requesting new garden beds, a shaded communal area, new outdoor furniture and a water feature.
“Leos are the first community group to ‘adopt a spot’ – a section of the garden at the village,” Mrs Walkington said.
“We hope that other groups, such as schools and other organisations will join the initiative.
“This program is not only about looking after the garden, but interacting with the residents as well. The Leos are planning to send letters, asking for commitment and support and have already heard from St Mary’s [Primary School], who are looking forward to being involved.”
Leos opted for low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plants to brighten the dull area, with mosaic art pieces to enhance the area, expected to be used for birthday parties and social activities.
“Some residents were pleased to have light beam into their rooms for the first time in years, because the bushes were so high they covered their windows,” Mrs Walkington said.
Leo member, Emily Rigg said she has always wanted to undertake volunteerism in a town that is quickly transforming into a retirement town.
“If we have a good garden I think it will be great and beneficial for the long-term viability and will attract more people to our beautiful town,” the Cohuna Secondary College student said.
“Choosing the plants and planting them would be the most fun task so far and watching the transformation quickly take shape.
“Firstly, we had to design everything and decide on what to do. It involved a lot of weeding and organisation, a lot of meetings.”
Leos funded the project through fund-raising activities including car washes, movie nights, waitressing and the selling of their famous hot donuts at community festivities.
“It is the biggest and first major project we have undertaken, but it’s all working,” Miss Rigg said.
“It is just about getting our name out there and to say that it is okay to volunteer when you’re younger.
“The residents are really lovely and many of them want to come out and help.”
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