By Aleksandra Bliszczyk
Students at Kilmore Primary School and Upper Plenty Primary School have helped design and paint a banner for the Kilmore Community Garden, a new initiative coming to Union Street.
The garden, though still in its development stage, has been established by an expanding group of locals, including visual art teacher at both schools Andrea Lewis.
Ms Lewis said the group contacted her after she and the schools had expressed interest in the students being involved in some way to feel connected to their community.
“Community engagement is still at the forefront of our minds during ongoing lockdowns,” Ms Lewis said.
“We continue to look for ways to ensure our students can feel connected to the wider community, while reminding them that there will again be a time where we will come together.”
Although the garden is still being constructed, with garden beds and paths underway, students mocked up their own designs based around the purpose of the garden – a space where everyone is welcome and the community can come together and work collaboratively within nature – before agreeing on the final version.
“There’s students at Kilmore who said, ‘oh I know that place, I drive past it on my way to school’,” Ms Lewis said.
The banner features the Anglican church as a landmark, a rainbow, people tending to rows of leafy vegetables, and others painting on easels under large trees.
“It was thrown out to whomever was interested so basically the students who have art as a passion were quite keen and quite involved,” Ms Lewis said.
“The ones I was on site with were always saying ‘are we going to work on the banner now?’”
Ms Lewis, who guided the students, helping them mix colours and paint some of the trickier elements, said they were thrilled to be involved in a project that went beyond their home or school community.
“Combining nature and art through this community project has given students the opportunity to continue to exercise their creativity, a skill well understood to support positive wellbeing,” she said.
“The students are just excited to see the community come back together and have the opportunity to work together.”
The banner will be used for promotion of the garden and displayed at public gatherings, fundraising functions and events.