Grong Grong Earth Park
The Grong Grong Earth Park comprises an open and free community garden, free camping zone, upcycled playground, eco fort and native plantings all of which have the underlying ethos of Grow, Gather, Give.
For more information head to their website.
It all started In 2013 with a group of Grong Grong mums and families……
The Grong Grong mums and families sought permission to build a new community space on a corridor of land that had been disused for many years – it was a weedy eyesore in the middle of the village, overgrown and full of rubbish. As the project evolved and different milestones were achieved, more members of the community became involved, including retirees and townspeople.
The initial planning was an open community ‘Design Storm’ which saw the community develop a comprehensive and long term vision for the space. Gradually the space was transformed into an amazing open community space, comprising a productive and free food garden, a strawbale hut, a handmade pizza oven, a natural and upcycled playground and an eco play fort.
The catalyst for the Earth Park
The group noticed a decline in the relationship that children have with nature and the outdoors. The group felt that the creation of a natural play space with an extended corridor of planting and spaces would provide not only a playground, but a deeper immersion in nature and understanding of its value. The group wanted to create opportunities every day for children and families to engage with and play in nature – in an outdoor space that provides food, shelter, opportunities for all types of play – physical, adventurous, imaginative, dramatic and creative play.
This project is perennial and open-ended – the plan is for the Earth Park to never be ‘finished’, so that the great-grandchildren of the community will feel free to continue to tweak the space for their needs and own benefit, and to continue to share knowledge and the value of nature for generations to come.
Group projects and events
Grong Grong Earth Park maintains a professional and comprehensive website and has a regular social media presence. The Earth Park has hosted many great workshops – strawbale building, star gazing nights, pizza oven building and ‘growcery’ planting days with children. They also host social occasions such as the Grong Grong community Christmas dinner, wood-fired pizza nights and camp oven playdates in mid-winter.
Connection with Landcare and community
Grong Grong Earth Park is a member of the Narrandera Landcare Group, and works with this group and Murrumbidgee Landcare on various projects. The group have run active learning and planting days for schools in our community. They actively seek to work with local tradespeople, focusing on the benefits of a circular economy and community involvemen,t and host a program of physical and virtual events throughout the year. The group has been able to extend its footprint through extended plantings of native species, and the creation (with the support of Roads and Maritime) of an extended children’s forest zone on the outskirts of Grong Grong.