Mullaway Primary School officially opens Sensory Garden

A new Sensory Garden was officially opened at Mullaway Primary School last Friday, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Woolgoolga. Photos: supplied.

 

MULLAWAY Primary School students and staff have welcomed the official opening of their new Sensory Garden, thanks to the Rotary Club of Woolgoolga.

The official opening of the Sensory Garden finally occurred on Friday 21 May, after being delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the school over recent months and localised flooding in the initial selected location of the garden.

Rotary Club of Woolgoolga secretary Patty Delaney said parents would now be able to allow their younger children to play in the garden while dropping their older children off at school, and school staff could now use the garden at lunch time rather than sitting in the staffroom.

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“Teachers can also accompany their class students there for sensory activities,” Patty said.

Work commenced on the Sensory Garden in December 2020 and was completed this month.

The Mullaway Primary School P&C Committee identified a need for the project and a P and C member ‘pitched’ the idea to Woolgoolga Rotary members.

“We developed a plan, Rotarians assisted other volunteers to lay out the garden and prepare the soil and put the garden edges in place,” Patty said.

“Over 17 square metres of soil was ordered, delivered and shifted into place; additionally, an equivalent amount of mulch was shifted.

“Two Rotarians visited the local Landcare nursery to choose and plant native plants, and Landcare donated 40 plants.”

Patty said with the assistance of other Rotary volunteers and school children from Years 2 and 3 ‘Kids in the garden’ the school undertook a “planting afternoon”.

“The school donated mulch and the school’s General Assistant asked a friend to loan us a tractor to assist with moving soil,” Patty said.

Patty wished to specifically thank Mullaway Primary School General Assistant Greg Williams, a former Rotarian, who embraced the project and provided countless hours of volunteer work.

“He assisted the volunteers to make the outline of the garden, allowed us to use school tools and electrical tools, made a sculpture for the garden (King Neptune), built a garden arbor, used recycled timber to make a seat surround and made and installed 4 gabions and herb garden, installed a tap and planned and installed an automatic watering system,” Patty said.

Local business ‘Big Garden Furniture’ made a garden seat, a large plinth from recycled timber, and provided it at a reduced cost.

Two volunteers whose grandchildren attend Year 1 and Kindergarten classes at the school also assisted with the construction of edges, movement of soil and mulch and planted native Lilli Pilli trees in honor of their grandchildren.

The official launch of the Sensory Garden included school leaders (Year 6 students), the school’s Assistant Principal, Rotarians, other volunteer helpers, and friends of Rotary.

Two Kindergarten students assisted in the ribbon cutting and then the school leaders assisted volunteers to rotate 37 Kindergarten students through a series of fun activities to raise their awareness of the five senses of touch, sight, sound, taste and smell.

The school is an ‘Open School’ and the local community can access the grounds, the playgrounds and the paved areas for bike riding and skateboarding on weekends.

 

By Emma DARBIN

 

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