Lara’s Garden

Anna has given me permission to post the contents of an email she sent me today. If Lara’s story has touched you, please consider contributing some time or some money to help commemorate this special child, and make a lovely park for kids to enjoy for years to come.

Mark Inigo and I will be helping out on both working bees, but probably not for the whole day. Please let me know if you’d like to come along and help, everyone is welcome. Personally, I am relishing the idea of being able to do something practical and useful, and I can imagine this park being a place I will want to visit frequently.

——

Dear family and friends,

As most of you know, our little girl Lara died unexpectedly sometime during the night of June 30 this year, leaving us heartbroken and bewildered.

As we struggle to come to terms with the “new normal” of life without her, our friends from Forsyth Park Playgroup have been working behind the scenes with North Sydney Council to secure a little space in our neighbourhood where we can build a garden in Lara’s memory.

That space is on the southernmost point of Forsyth Park in Neutral Bay, below the second oval. While the finer points of garden’s design are still under discussion with the Council, we have been permitted to begin clearing some of the site of weeds. I have attached a copy of the garden’s design to this email, so you can see what we have in mind.

And this is where you come in. Many of you asked if there was anything you could do for us in the aftermath of Lara’s death. You have brought us food, phoned us, visited us, written to us, shared your memories of Lara with us, and made donations to her kindy and SIDS & Kids. We didn’t know what to ask for then – but we are so very grateful that you did these things because each gesture has been a lifeline in some pretty desperate days.

Now we have something specific to ask of you: would you help us begin building Lara’s Garden? All we need is your time, muscle and goodwill to rip out weeds and mulch.

We will be holding a working bee on two upcoming weekends – Saturday, November 28, and Saturday December 5, from 9am until 4pm.

The Council has sprayed the site with Roundup during the week of Nov 9-15, so we won’t be touching the site until around two weeks later. I am informed by the Council that Roundup breaks down fairly quickly after contact with plants and will not pose a threat to anyone by the time of the first working bee, and it will make weeding considerably easier (especially the mountains of asthma weed).
We would love it if you could help us build Lara’s Garden, and as a start help out at one or both o these working bees. Children are most welcome – the site is fairly secure – road access is quite oblique and there are lots of weedy places to explore, which should keep the little ones busy.

Rob and I will be cooking up a sausage or two for lunch, and will provide some refreshments. There is a public toilet within walking distance.

For those of you who cannot make it, there are heaps of other ways in which you can help. We need building materials (stone, steel, wood) for edging the paths, as well as lots and lots of plants. If you know anyone who is renovating and throwing out stone, please let us know and we’ll come and get it. Likewise, if you or anyone you know has a bursting pot plant that needs a good home, we would love it. The embankment that needs weeding will need to be replanted with something and the more we can get for free the better we can make it.

We will be working on Lara’s Garden for a long time – if you can’t do anything now but would like to get involved later, we’d love it.

Details of the working bees are as follows:

What: Lara’s Garden working bees
Where: Southern end of Forsyth Park – access via Bent St, or on foot from Eaton St, or park on Montpelier St and walk across the oval to the Bent St side.
See map: http://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=102757929118134390229.00047899dcf76937f538c&ll=-33.834388,151.214726&spn=0.004113,0.00508&t=h&z=18
When: Saturday, 28 November, and Saturday, 5 December
Time: 9am – 4pm
RSVP: By Thursday, November 26 (so I know how many sausages to buy) by email larasgarden2009@gmail.com
Bring: Hat, sunscreen, long sleeved shirt/long pants, gardening gloves, and a trowel/weeding fork if you have one.
Web: http://sites.google.com/site/larasgarden (soon to be replaced by http://www.larasgarden.org)

We will provide a case or so of water, and some juice for the kids, as well as a basic bbq. Clark Rd shops are about 5 mins drive down the hill, for those who need or want more.

North Sydney Council will provide bags for weed disposal, mulch, tools and expertise (one of the Streets Alive officers will be there to help).

With all our love,

Anna, Rob and Ursula

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