A tribute to these dedicated folk
Spring in all its glory is on show at present in the St Francis Bay Community Garden in Harbour Road, thanks to the efforts of the local residents and the St Francis Links gardeners, who have worked together to save the garden from reverting to a wilderness area.
When Colin Hall moved away from St Francis some years ago, and gardener Jan Coenraad retired, there was no one to run or maintain the garden, and an appeal was made to the community to save it. A collection was started. Some people donated sums of money; others signed a stop order; plants were sold and teas organised at the morning market; and functions were held to raise funds. These funds eventually became depleted and Hilton Thorpe, as Chairman of the St Francis Kromme Trust, took on the task of finding a solution.
Under the auspices of the Kromme Trust, an initiative was launched to save the garden and this involved community participation. A management plan was developed at a meeting between the Trust, the Fourcade Botanical Group and the Dendrological Society. Over the years, various plans were put in operation and thanks to the enthusiasm of members of the St Francis KrommeTrust: the late Bridgette Elton, her husband Ed and son Dusty, the garden has become a real place of beauty and tranquillity. The Eltons are the current custodians of the park and the work they do there is amazing, without any fanfare or fuss.
It is remarkable what can be achieved when a community is passionate about something. The St Francis Links also came to the party in recent years and have helped enormously in keeping the lawns cut and paths trimmed. The community owes them, and the Eltons, a huge debt of gratitude.
Many worthwhile indigenous plants have been rescued from development sites by the Fourcade Botanical Group, and relocated there, in order to preserve them. Several of these have been labelled for the convenience of people who wish to identify them, or to plant similar ones. Indigenous species are hardy and require less water; an important factor these days.
Those new to St Francis Bay and locals too, should pay it a visit, especially now in spring. The little stream is running again, frogs are croaking happily, spring flowers are bursting into bloom adding colour to the garden and birds are in full voice attracting mates prior to breeding. Come and enjoy the beauty of this green haven in Harbour Road.