HVO apprentices get green thumbs at Singleton Community Garden

HVO apprentices get green thumbs at Singleton Community Garden

A group of apprentices from Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) have put their trade skills to good use to spruce up the Singleton Community Garden.

A team of 23 apprentices joined other HVO staff and tradespeople from local building services company, Buildtell, to help build 12 new raised garden beds and weed the garden and give the shed a new coat of paint.

As well as vegetable gardens there is a small orchard, a bird-attracting garden, and an indigenous learning circle with native plants.

Singleton Community Garden President, Paige Gough said HVO’s support in supplying materials and staff has given the group’s expansion plans a much-needed boost and that HVO’s work will more than double the number of beds.

“During COVID our membership declined but we are back up to 35 members and we’ve been wanting to expand the beds and orchard,” Paige said.

“We are trying to create a really productive drought tolerant, permaculture garden to produce a wide variety of fresh, healthy produce for people to enjoy.”

HVO’s Learning and Development Co-ordinator, Paul Watters has co-ordinated the support project. Paul said the project benefits the apprentices and the community. He said the company’s apprentices support a community project once a year but next year the plan is to do two projects.

“It was a great learning opportunity for our apprentices to work with Buildtell’s qualified tradespeople and adapt their skills to work on a different sort of project,” Paul said.

“HVO is about supporting our local community and the Singleton Community Garden is a great of example of how community can come together to support one another in a beneficial and sustainable way.”

“We’re also teaching our apprentices the value of fresh produce in having a healthy lifestyle and hopefully giving them green thumbs.”

Meanwhile, other not for profit community groups in the Muswellbrook and Singleton shires can gain funding for their community and environmental projects from HVO’s latest community grants round.

Environment and Community Officer, Merri Bartlett said the grants program is one of the ways the local mining company seeks to support the communities in which it operates.

“As well as providing local jobs and an injection into the local economy through local businesses and suppliers, we think it is important to support local initiatives that make our community a better place for people to live and work,” Merri said.

HVO has provided more than $330,000 in funding to 75 projects since its grants programme began in 2018.


IMAGE | HVO Learning and Development Co-ordinator, Paul Watters at Singleton Community Garden.

Hunter Valley Operations

Hunter Valley Operations operates the HVO South and HVO North open cut coal mines north of Singleton. Its 1,200 plus strong workforce mines some of the world’s highest quality thermal coal as well as metallurgical coal. HVO is proposing to extend its operations to 2050. This will support around 1,500 ongoing local jobs and continue support for local businesses, charities and community infrastructure and projects.

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