Community clean-up after drink driver ploughs into fence

The fence of the Mt Pleasant community garden collapsed after a car crashed through it. Photo:...
The fence of the Mt Pleasant community garden collapsed after a car crashed through it. Photo: Supplied
Volunteers donned gloves and shovels and got to work last Saturday after a drink driver ploughed through The Bays Kidsfirst kindergarten and community garden fence in Mt Pleasant.

The 44-year-old driver was uninjured in the incident on June 1.

He has been charged with excess breath alcohol and will appear in court next month.

Community garden co-ordinator Jocelyn Papprill said the fence was shattered, trees were uprooted, garden beds destroyed and pieces of the vehicle strewn everywhere.

Papprill was out of the city when she got the call about the chaos. After she arrived home on Friday she reached out to the community, and a working bee was promptly organised for Saturday.

Nine residents turned up including city councillor Sara Templeton, who brought a freshly-baked banana loaf along.

“While it was gutting to have the fence so badly damaged, the community response was wonderful and it was great to get stuck in to tidy up as a group,” said Templeton.

Cleaning up the damage at the Mt Pleasant community garden. Photo: Supplied
Cleaning up the damage at the Mt Pleasant community garden. Photo: Supplied
They spent two-and-a-half hours clearing up the damage.

A large trailer load of green waste went into landfill, along with the broken car pieces. Uprooted trees were broken down for firewood or saved to rot into insect homes at the back of the garden.

A raised tyre bed had been shunted sideways by the crash. It was placed back into position, refilled with dirt and replanted with seedlings donated by community members and by the Linwood Community Garden.

“The area certainly looked much tidier but to repair the gap in the fence will take a while longer,” said Papprill.

The Mt Pleasant community worked together to clear the carnage. Photo: Supplied
The Mt Pleasant community worked together to clear the carnage. Photo: Supplied
Hot tea, paired with Templeton’s banana loaf and a rhubarb crumble cake specially baked by the Mt Pleasant cafe, ended the working bee.

“What would we do without people willing to volunteer their time – a team effort gets a job done quicker and it’s much more fun,” said Papprill.

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