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National Award for Local Gardens

Sawtell Catholic Care’s ‘The Link’ community gardens have been named as the best in Australia, having received the coveted National Green Space Regional Award at the Australian Institute of Horticulture’s Awards Ceremony, held at Melbourne’s Rose Street Artists Markets on Friday 28 October 2022.

Sawtell Catholic Care CEO, Michael Darragh, said the Awards Ceremony featured a diverse range of national and international green space projects and celebrated the commitment and professionalism of those who have made a significant contribution to the horticultural industry.

“These awards are recognised as the pinnacle of achievement in Australia, so it has been both very exciting and humbling that our community gardens were selected as the winner amongst a very competitive nation-wide field of regional nominations.”

Mr Darragh said the journey to develop The Link began with a local team of industry professionals coming together to design and create a beautiful, thriving and sustainable natural environment where people could connect with nature to support their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

“Firstly, I would like to thank our Board Members and Sawtell Catholic Care’s Leadership Team for their continued support over the past five years, as it was a challenging project to deliver given the scale of works required to realise our ultimate vision for the five-acre site.”

“Thanks must also go to Garden Expressions’ Senior Landscape Designer Claudia Nevell, Design Professional Jim Booth from Casa Koala Architecture, F. M. Glenn Constructions and Lisa Daniel from The Design Cupboard for their collective input towards creating such an engaging environment.”

“What the team have managed to deliver is a natural destination which is also a physical expression of our mission in action, because it is a safe place where we can grow together as a community and nurture a shared understanding of care for our land, our environment and each other.”

“And it is vital during these busy and challenging times that we are able to connect with nature, as research recognises that horticulture can play an enormous role in our lives by creating nature-based experiences, which in turn promote healthy lifestyles and support our physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Link is located at 631 Hogbin Drive, Toormina and is open to the public for free, Monday to Saturday between 8:30am and 3pm, so you can connect with nature and explore the gardens, or simply sit back and relax with a coffee and a light meal or snack at The Link’s new Nyanggan Gapi Café.

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