The Sustainable Wetlands Agricultural Makers Project (SWAMP) – Central Coast, provides a space for people to visit and connect to grow a community of like minded people that may be isolated, new to the area, want to join a community garden, learn ways to grow and eat food, gardening tips, sharing local stories and local history, connecting in with our Indigenous communities and learn new ways to grow food and eat food together.
SWAMP sees an opportunity to bring people together and create a community garden that is thriving, resilient and strong for visitors and members alike to visit and belong.
SWAMP is a Sustainable Community Garden Project that facilitates a meeting space for people to come and establish friendships, knowledge and new wisdom, an opportunity to share story of past, present and future, ways to connect to the land and environment, education resources and workshops around the permaculture lifestyle. SWAMP is a place to meet, greet and form life-long friendships around growing food and sharing story.
SWAMP will activate the site and grow the community garden with the support of community organisations, businesses, Council and volunteers. We will hold workshops, educational events, field days, picnics, tours of the heritage site, story telling yarn circles, wellness & health workshops, nature playgroups, art in the garden, seasonal food celebrations, season celebrations, paddock to plate events, film festivals, music festivals, artists in the park, regional tourism associations, local food trail. Community connections with local organisations such as Youth Connect, The Glen Centre, AimBig Employment, Baran Indigenous Services, surrounding community garden communities.
The core members of SWAMP is a collaboration between professionals in nutrition, food, gardening, creatives, IT, health and wellbeing, children’s education, horticulture, ethnobotany, project management, waste management, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
Meet the team
Co-Founder, Project Co-Ordinator & Community Connections
I am a mother to three daughters who are my inspiration, they are the ones who give me the strength and commitment to be involved in what I do, to leave a long lasting legacy for them to live in a world that is still able to grow food in the soil, clean water to drink and fresh air to breath, but most importantly that they know they are connected to nature and are nature, it lives within us all. I believe in the strength of community working as one for a greater cause, bigger than ourselves.
The brilliant SWAMP team are together creating a place to gather, meet new friends, learn the benefits of gardening and growing your own food and better ways to be sustainable in your own home and more importantly to connect in with your community.
Co-Founder, Garden Curator
Cheralyn is an ethnobotanical gardener and botanical history author of twenty internationally published botanical titles. She produces and presents a weekly live 2-hour gardening radio show, At Home with the Gardening Gang, on CoastFM963 and is a member of the Board. She also writes the weekly Down in the Garden page for Central Coasts News and The Coast Chronical.
She volunteers at SWAMP to create the gardening designs, systems and education.
Co-Founder, Community Engagement Facilitator
Cassie Harris is facilitator of Women’s circles, rites of passage ceremonies and Nature Connection teacher here at Swamp Central Coast.
My vision for Swamp is to facilitate the space where the remembering of our intrinsic connection to the natural environment can occur. Where community support structures created through ceremony, sharing of knowledge, crafting and rewilding can be established.
To weave the need for a respectful and reciprocal relationship with nature, back into our modern ways of living.
Mandy dos Santos
Co-Founder, Children and Family Program Coordinator
Mandy is a nutritionist, food scientist and passionate food educator. Professionally, working with families, educators and children to empower their exploring of food in a way that they can develop a positive relationship with it, through play-based learning. Personally, she adores food and nature, and want to share that with everyone.
“When the opportunity came to volunteer and help build SWAMP with the team, I couldn’t say no. To have a space so accessible to families and children, in such a spectacular and environmentally historical area, is a dream. To connect and bring local community into nature, onto the earth and to empower their understanding of the life cycle of food, is a privilege.
I am so proud of what our team has created thus far, and look forward to it continuing to flourish, with you, the community.”
Marco dos Santos
Co-Founder, Educational Program Developer & Creative Director
Marco is a creative designer/tech geek with a enormous “hunger” to education and innovation. He brings years of industry creative expertise to SWAMP.
“I love to pass and receive knowledge, and there is no better place than a community garden full of like-minded people! And I felt at home from day one, crafting my gardening skills while helping our team in developing the creative side of SWAMP.”
Co-Founder, MC Microbe | Arts Director & Waste Manager
A locally grown industrious musician and avid eco-warrior, MC Microbe brings an open mind and collaborative nature to represent the creative industries and the microbial macrocosm beneath our feet here on the Central Coast.
Here to support and re-connect local artists of all fields through a developed network of practicing professionals and regenerate soils coherently using biotechnologies, MC Microbe is a core member and an active volunteer with unabashed gratitude for SWAMP and it’s growing community.
Co-Founder, Garden Curator
There are so many ethical reasons for growing at least some of your own food but for me the primary motivations are fun, pleasure, awe, creativity, physical and mental health and a heavy sprinkling of nutrition benefits.
I have now been growing food for our table from our home and community gardens for nearly 50 years. As a curator at the SWAMP Community Garden/Education Centre I get to share this experience and the sheer pleasure that comes from growing plants and nurturing the soil.