TRLA Community Nursery

The Issue

Tamworth Regional Landcare Association (TRLA) wanted to grow endemic plants, in particular plants specific to local threatened ecological communities, to our region for group and project activities. Groups were collecting a variety of common and rare local seed and wanted a space in which to propagate and grow the seeds on a scale large enough for local distribution.

The Solution

A partnership was formed between TRLA, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) and the New England Institute of TAFE in 2008 to support a small space with the TRC Nursery at the Tamworth Regional Botanic Gardens.

The nursery space provided opportunity for students and volunteers to learn and share skills and propagate plants used for local working bees and maintained momentum for 10 years.

In May 2018 an exciting opportunity was provided by TRC for Landcare to take on use of a large nursery site with free effluent reuse water and the nursery was able to expand in a remarkable way.

The Impact

The Tamworth Landcare Nursery now employs one part time site supervisor and has up to 8 volunteers on any given nursery day. They provide plants for local groups, working bees, National Tree Day events, local council street trees and for our own Bush Regeneration business. The nursery also provides carbon offset trees for local individuals and businesses and is set to expand this opportunity with a new carbon offset dedicated Landcare site.

The nursery team not only propagate and grow plants endemic to our region but have also been collecting seed for climate ready plants from surrounding regions west of Tamworth through National Landcare Programme funding. They grow bush tucker and bush medicine species from across NSW and sell them commercially and they support our Grassy White Box threatened ecological communities by growing rare herbs and lilies from these sites to redistributed.

The nursery is on the verge of becoming a wholly self-sustaining business with a weekly market stall at the local growers markets, the provision of bush regeneration services and our new carbon offset opportunities.

The Learnings

The nursery has been successful for a number of reasons:

  • Strong ongoing partnerships
  • Highly skilled volunteers and staff
  • Excellent site and readily available resources
  • A warm and friendly environment where learning is supported

Key Facts:

  1. Strong ongoing partnerships with Local Council and TAFE Institute
  2. Grows specialist and rare plants
  3. Supports volunteering and educational opportunities
  4. Highly skilled paid staff