A place for Esk to unwind

Somerset Bahá?í Faith community members, daughter and mother Jane Nicholson and Frances Avant. Picture: JACOB HAYDEN

The Somerset Baháʼí Faith community has welcomed expressions of interest for a community healing garden in Pipeliner Park, Esk.

Mother and daughter Frances Avent and Jane Nicholson supplied the expression of interest form with more than 240 signatures to Somerset Regional Council over the weekend ahead of their 29 May ordinary meeting, but welcomed more members of the community to have their say.

“In September 2023, a member of the community suggested it would be lovely to have a healing garden in Pipeliner Park,” Mrs Avent said.

“There was a healing garden on at The Condensery, which had a lot to do with creating a space for people to come together in the community and heal together through craft,” Mrs Nicholson said.

“A lot of those ideas were very similar to those of a community garden, people coming together and creating a space where everyone can share and use their skills.

“We put out the expression of interest form, and mum did the concept painting of the garden.“

Physical features of the garden would likely include shade, places to sit and pathways.

“People like to walk around while they’re thinking, the whole idea is it’s a place to relax and unwind,” Mrs Avent said.

“It would be nice to have some flowering plants and plants with a scent.

“Nature itself helps people to relax.”

Mrs Nicholson said the she and other organisers had researched healing gardens.

“One of the things they always include is a water feature,” she said.

“The sound of water is a very important part of the garden.

“Mum’s done a few field trips to different community gardens, most recently the Japanese Garden in Toowoomba, and when you walk through there you realise how important the water features are to the garden and to the contemplation.

“I have a special interest in Indigenous healing plants, and it would be lovely if that could be incorporated too.”

The expression of interest form is still open and available at the local Esk op shops, Highlands Traders, Esk Fruit Shop and Rudi’s Place.

“We thought we’ll keep the expression of interest open and update council every now and then with the new batch of EOIs,” Mrs Avent said.

“For a community project, it would be great to see as many people involved as possible,” Mrs Nicholson said.