Parklea’s gardens have again impressed the judges of this year’s Blacktown City Garden Competition, awarding the prison first place in two categories.
The winning team, led by overseers Sanjeev Kumar and Fetaitai Patiole, received the top gongs for Best Community Garden and Best Commercial Garden.
This is the third time Parklea has entered the competition and has improved its result each year, winning Second Place for Best Commercial Garden in 2019 and First Place Best Edible Garden – Other, and Second Place in the Best Commercial Garden last year.
About 18 inmates are involved in the initiative and are able to earn a Cert II in Horticulture.
Some of the community projects they have grown plants for include salad mix for donation to Australian charity Foodbank to help feed those doing it tough during the recent Covid lockdowns.
Sanjeev said receiving the awards motivated the team to maintain the high standards of grounds and garden maintenance while teaching important skills to inmates.
“The program helps with inmate rehabilitation and reduces re-offending through new skills they can take out into the community and put to good use,” Sanjeev said.
The Blacktown City Garden Competition entries were assessed on design, construction, maintenance and sustainability.