Grant for Tree Planting for Rotary Park Indigenous Garden
To celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia, the Rotary Club of Warragul decided to develop the grassed area of Rotary Park into an indigenous art garden to celebrate the culture of the Kurnai people.  The club engaged the services of landscape architect Prue Metcalfe to translate the painting “Art from the Air” by renowned local indigenous artist, Dr Auntie Eileen Harrison, into a plan for the park.
Planting the first tree in the indigenous garden are (from the left) Cr Peter Kostos, Member for Monash Russell Broadbent, mayor Michael Leaney, artist Dr aunty Eileen Harrison, landscape designer Prue Metcalf and Warragul Rotary president Teresa Mitchell.
Funding received from Baw Baw Shire is enabling the construction of the six paths leading to the central meeting place in which elders will be able to pass on their knowledge, and it  will  also feature six three metre high totem poles that will be carved with images of the birds that are significant to the Kurnai people.
The paths will be edged with indigenous plants to form coloured borders, and the grassed sections between the paths will have seating and various art features - for which funding is still being sought.   
Last Friday, the Rotary Club of Warragul held a barbeque at Rotary Park to celebrate the receipt of $17,000 from the Planting Trees for the Queen’s Jubilee fund that will be used to plant the northwest corner as a woodland area.
In announcing the grant local MP Russell Broadbent said that “We are investing in the dream that is now, and the dream that will be, for generations to come” as he paid tribute to the Rotary Club for its vision and courage in undertaking such an ambitious project.
Mayor Michael Leaney also complimented the initiative noting that “it will create a space that will be enjoyed and admired by the community for years to come” and added that Council’s Infrastructure Delivery team is working closely with the Rotarians to help to identify suitable plants for the garden.
Tim Wills, Rotary’s Assistant District Governor , noted that there are over 1.4 million Rotarians in 46,000 clubs worldwide that are carrying out Rotary’s Vision of  “Together People Create Change” and added that “This project shows how the foresight and enthusiasm of individuals can realize worthwhile outcomes and attract support from partnering organisations, including in this case the Baw Baw Shire Council and the Australian Government and, of course, the wider community.”