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Full circle: aged care residents and students join together for mango-nificent planting

Fernhill Tree Planting.JPG

For the residents at Fernhill aged care community, the mango tree that once stood at the front of their community garden was a joy to look at and to pick fruit from its branches. That’s why, when the opportunity arose to plant a new mango tree with students from St Columban’s College, Fernhill residents were tree-mendously excited.

The tree in question was planted with the students in the front entrance garden of Fernhill’s new residential aged care community building earlier this month, in celebration of National Tree Day.

St Columban’s College students Georgia Sturgess and Bailey Atkins joined Fernhill residents Marlene Rae and Don Bryant for the ceremonial planting alongside Fernhill Residential Manager Ram Korla, Bolton Clarke Development Manager James Chiou and builders Hansen Yuncken Project Manger Scott Butler.

“We were there when the original mango tree was pulled out, so it’s nice to be here planting a new one,” said Don. “And it’s been great to watch the building come together – it’s very impressive.”

“We were sad to see the first tree removed, but there’s something special about planting a new one when we are about to move into our new home,” added Marlene.

Both Georgia and Bailey were impressed to learn about the significance of planting a mango tree, and the construction process involved for the new community building.

“It’s really cool to plant the same tree as the one that was taken out!” said Bailey.

“I can’t believe how many people worked on this building – and how long all the planning took,” said Georgia.

Residential Manager Ram Korla said that quite naturally a mango tree was selected to replace the one relinquished during demolition works to make way for the new community building, which is due to open in October.

“We were very excited to have the students from St Columban’s join us for the tree planting, and when the question of ‘what tree’ came up – it seemed very fitting to plant a mango tree to replace the one that was removed,” he said.

“When we shared the idea with our residents, they were unanimously on board.

“We then spent a couple of days tracking down just the right mango tree – and settled on a dwarf variety which will be large, but not quite as large as the previous tree, making it a bit easier for residents to pick the fruit!

“It’s a nice marker of how far we’ve come as the tree that was removed was right at the start of construction, and now we’re nearing the end, and residents are getting ready to move in… we’ve come full circle!” said Ram.

The final fitout and landscaping works are being completed on the new Fernhill residential aged care community which is due to open for new resident admissions in October.