A little scrub is a big winner
BILL Abbott has a lot of good memories of a parcel of land that he can not only relive, but taste.
Bill, 71, is a resident of BCS Maranoa Centre aged-care facility at Alstonville where a newly planted rainforest was last Thursday officially opened.
And the Aged Care Standards Accreditation Agency also took the opportunity to present a Better Practice Award for the project - one of only 38 awarded nationally from 153 applications.
This is the second year the Alstonville aged-care facility has won a Better Practice Award - last year's was awarded for Maranoa's Interactive Life Stories project.
Bill grew up in Alstonville and remembers riding horses on the land where Maranoa is located and eating figs from what the locals then called Albert's Strong Scrub, which is known as the Big Scrub rainforest which once covered large areas of the North Coast.
And Bill said the figs in the newly planted rainforest taste just as good as those from his childhood.
Another resident, Marian Ward, was the driving force behind the creation of the rainforest.
While the 68-year-old has multiple sclerosis, it hasn't stopped her passion for conservation, which was born when she read the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie stories in her youth. She said the area gave residents a quiet place to sit, but in her eyes, it's not quite finished - she is just waiting for wildlife to take up permanent residence.
There already are lots of birds and water dragons, and nesting boxes have been placed to attract other animals.
The project to plant t rainforest trees in the 0.2ha area of land began early last year, and was titled Nurture with Nature.
The stand of trees and shrubs was called the Maranoa Little Scrub.
The project was supported by Landcare, Novaskill and WIRES.