Community garden seeks help after fire
Woy Woy Community Garden is looking for help after an arson attack on January 20.
The attack was the culmination of a few smaller attacks that began in October 2018 when five worm farms were burnt to the ground.
Garden founder Ms Jill Meredith said worm farms are quite moist so she suspected an accelerant was used.
"That was a kick in the guts and we resolved to be more careful about what was left out,'' she said.
But then the garden had three attacks in about 10 days culminating in this last attack.
The garden is surrounded by houses and young neighbour noticed flames coming from the shed about 7.30am.
The fire brigade and police attended.
The shed and all its contents were burnt. Lost are training materials, tools, buckets, the all important seed bank, the barbecue and two water tanks.
"Everything is gone,'' Ms Meredith said.
"The smell is unbelievable.
"The tea cups were in a plastic container sitting on a laminated bench top. The plastic has melted over the cups and it's all stuck to the bench.
"The difficulty now will be to get the container off the block.
"Or maybe we should cut the sides out and make it a nice place to sit.
"We need some advice from a metal worker and from a builder to decide what to do about a new shed.
"But the bottom line is we need a new one.''
Ms Meredith said the community group had started a Go Fund Me page as it would need money to build the shed.
The garden has a public walkway through it and thousands of people love the garden.
It has about 1800 people on its Facebook page and about 40 regular helpers
A disabled group visit every week and interact with the regulars and are included in the garden's community.
A play group that visits each Tuesday has one activity that sees them sing a song to the garden.
And the garden itself has survived virtually unscathed from the attacks.
"It is now nine years old and well established and watered,'' Ms Meredith said.
"It got a bit of scorching around the edges but it's basically untouched.''
Woy Woy community garden was established in 2012 at 85-87 Moana Street Woy Woy.
Ms Meredith said the garden had been a peaceful place helping break down barriers and building new connections across various community groups including, pre-schoolers, children, young adults, elderly, women, men, disabled, retired, and working people.
"Woy Woy Peninsula Community Garden is a very special area for all to enjoy and a wonderful place to sit, relax and learn about plants,'' she said.
"We are committed to maintaining this resource for the community and plan to rebuild by seeking the support and help from the local community through a go fund me campaign.
"Any donations will be gratefully appreciated and utilised to build a new storage shed, and replace tools and equipment lost due to these savage attacks.
"We are also seeking quotes for the possible installation of security fences to help protect resources acquired through community support and donations.
''Call into the garden Thursday mornings 9am - 12.''
Email, 23 Jan 2019
Interview, 23 Jan 2019
Jill Meredith, Woy Woy Community Garden
Reporter: Merilyn Vale