Gardens grow in beauty
NO ONE could have predicted how big and beautiful the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens would become after the first tree was planted 10 years ago.
The gardens are now a stark contrast to the Wyrallah Rd Waste Facility situated just metres away.
Yesterday, about 50 Northern Rivers locals and volunteer workers celebrated the gardens' 10th anniversary.
"It's 10 years since we put the first plants at this site," vice-president Pat Offord said.
"We're celebrating that we're still here."
The rainforest now has discovery trails, a range of native wildlife and tropical and sub-tropical species sections.
"We've got lots of koalas and they often come down on the ground and walk in front of the visitors," Ms Offord said.
Lindsay and Joan Aitkin of Evans Head took part in yesterday's celebrations.
"We have a friend who comes here to bird watch and apparently there's 63 species here," Ms Aitkin said.
The gardens rely on 25 dedicated volunteers and one part-time gardener, paid for by Lismore City Council.
Ms Offord said she wasn't sure the gardens would grow at first.
"We're surprised anything thrived where the useful plants garden is because you could tell something had been dumped there," she said.
"Since we've done bush regeneration through the undergrowth, the species that have come up are the indigenous species to this area.
"The waste facility will be here for a long time but it doesn't matter to us."