At the Bingara Show, members of The Living Classroom (TLC) Steering Committee provided a display of the project. They were available to explain where TLC is at, and where it goes to next. One exciting step, that will commence this winter, is the planting of the community “Family Tree Orchard”.
The “Family Tree Orchard” will be an apple and pear grove located at the north-east corner of The Living Classroom site, at the corner of Cunningham Street and West Street. Last week, landscape architect John Mongard was in town, and he pegged out the site with TLC horticulturist Aaron Brookes.
The orchard will be patterned to blend in with the “feature” lake, and link with the access path from the centre of town. It will then lead the visitor along a curved row of trees towards the lake, and beyond to the buildings.
The concept of the “Family Tree Orchard” is that families, living within the Gwydir Shire, or those with an historical family link to the shire, are invited to invest in a tree, for an outlay of $50. That price will cover the cost of purchasing and planting the tree, and the inclusion of the family name onto a plaque acknowledging their contribution and the tree’s location.
At the Bingara Show nearly 30 families were registered as interested participants. More are most welcome. A total of 55 trees are in the first orchard plan. If interest is greater than this, the orchard will be extended.
The picture shows BCS students having harvested local produce from The River House edible garden. The same spirit of local food production with links to the school and the broader community is planned for the Family Tree Orchard at TLC.
Bingara Central School is an active partner in the Family Tree Orchard project. BCS Principal Mr Mark Vale said, “Our BCS links with families goes back 150 years. With this project our students and staff can provide support for an enduring aspect of The Living Classroom focused on local food, education and tourism, and featuring our family names.”
A display of the orchard design by John Mongard has been placed in the community notice board outside the GSC office in Maitland Street, Bingara. Anyone wishing to nominate a family name for inclusion in this project are invited to call in at the GSC Office, the BCS Office, or contact the GSC Training Officer, Duncan Thain on 0400 450220.
Submitted by Garry McDouall – Chairman, The Living Classroom Steering Committee.