GARDEN CLUB: Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell and Friends of the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens get their hands dirty at their monthly working bee.
GARDEN CLUB: Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell and Friends of the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens get their hands dirty at their monthly working bee. Alex Utting

Group effort at Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens pays off

MANY hands make light work.

At least that's what Friends of the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens have shown over the past 11 years.

The group's monthly work morning was staged yesterday and it's days like it that have transformed the area of re-claimed land at the back of Lismore's rubbish tip from five hectares of heavy weeds into a blossoming botanic garden for the public to enjoy.

Friends of the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens president Pat Offord said most of the people who help out at the gardens are from surrounding villages and some travel long distances each month for the love of gardening.

"It's our baby and we're very protective of it," Mrs Offord said.

"The survival of the garden depends on our volunteers."

She said the group was always after new volunteers.

"There is always more work than we can deal with and we'll never run out of jobs for people to do," Mrs Offord said.

One of the volunteers who have participated in the Botanic Garden's regeneration and sustainability for the past 10 years is Lismore City mayor Jenny Dowell.

Cr Dowell said it was "truly spectacular" to see the development of the Botanic Gardens since its early stages.

"It's an absolute tribute to the volunteers and their efforts," she said.

Cr Dowell said she had "learnt a lot" from Friends members during the past 10 years.

"It's a really lovely atmosphere here of people coming together on the last Sunday of every month," she said.

The Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens has been designed to help preserve and conserve native species and stop them becoming extinct.

Almost all of the plants in the Botanic Gardens are native rainforest species from no further than 200km away from Lismore.

Some exceptions include two rare species of macadamia trees from south Queensland that were gifted to the Botanic Gardens by the Australian Macadamia Society.

The Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens is open to the public daily.

It is wheelchair accessible and located at Lismore Recycling and Recovery Centre on Wyrallah Rd.

For more information visit http://www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.



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