New garden for Tomaree Hospital

Rotarians Geoff Diemar and Warwick Mathieson preparing timber for garden beds.

THE Rotary Club of Nelson Bay is building a garden at Tomaree Community Hospital.

The extensive project has now passed the halfway mark on its journey to completion.

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Nelson Bay Rotarian Don Whatham told News Of The Area, “this week Rotarians Warwick Mathieson and Geoff Diemar, who are managing the project on behalf of the club, were on site early to commence construction of the raised garden beds.

“Preparation of the timberwork had been completed earlier by Warwick and Geoff to allow installation of the timber sides for the raised garden beds,” he said.

“Bricks had previously been laid around the beds surrounding the covered pergola.”

The completed gardens will feature native Australian plants that will form a natural link to the adjoining Tomaree National Park.

“Guttering was professionally installed on covered pergola to complete this excellent construction,” said Mr Watham.

“Local tradesmen have worked on the site, many donating their time to the project or completing tasks and supplying materials at special rates.”

Rotarian Chris Bartlett has been on site during all construction periods to ensure the club meets the strict occupational health and safety requirements stipulated by construction at this site.

The $49,000 project, designed by qualified landscape architects, will be completed with help of a $20,000 grant from the Australian Government’s ‘stronger communities program’ and a $6000 ‘community support fund grant from Port Stephens Council.

Many donations have been received by the Rotary Club from local businesses and community members.

“All donors will be recognised in a special acknowledgment wall which is to be built into the pergola area,” he said.

Work on filling the garden beds, spreading more soil, installing the watering system, water features and other tasks will begin in earnest during the next few weeks.

The completion date has been slated for late July, with an official opening in early spring.

Feedback from Hunter Health and the hard-working health staff at the hospital indicates much excitement and enthusiasm as the project proceeds.

This project began two years ago, when then-Rotary president Doug Craike met with the hospital auxiliary to discuss how Rotary could partner with the hospital to provide this facility.

The project was eagerly included in this year’s Rotary program by current president Don Whatham, who has expressed appreciation at the way the work has been managed.

He considers it a wonderful facility for the hospital and greater community


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