More than 7000 hours of toiling by volunteers and the establishment of more than 4000 plants at Mrs York's Garden in Port Macquarie has been awarded state honours.
Non-profit group Friends of Mrs York's Garden won the Habitat and Wildlife Conservation category at the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns Awards on November 2.
The garden collected the highly-contested award for its enhanced sustainability and regeneration of rainforest in Port Macquarie.
"It was apparently one of the most highly contested categories in terms of the number of contestants and the quality," said president Dianne Davison, who collected the award at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre.
"They gave two highly commended awards and a winning award for the category, and we were chosen as the winners.
"We are very chuffed about that.
"It's really wonderful recognition for the work that we have done up until this point at Mrs York's Garden. For such a small group I think it shows that we can really achieve a lot and I think we could inspire a lot of other small groups to persevere.
"We have made a difference just through perseverance and getting stuck in."
The awards aim to encourage, motivate and celebrate sustainability achievements of regional communities across Australia.
Murrurundi was crowned with the overall 2019 Overall Sustainable Communities Tidy Towns Award winner and will represent the state the national competition.
"Just going down to the awards showed us how such amazing things are being done by groups around NSW," said Mrs Davison.
"We were quite inspired by some of the things other groups were doing and we hope our group can inspire other groups.
"Over 7000 hours of volunteer labour have been put in over the four and a half years working there, over 4000 plants and 85 different native species."
Friends of Mrs York's Garden has 29 members committed to the long term improvement and maintenance of the garden. The Tidy Towns competition has been running nationally since 1990.
READ MORE: Mrs York's garden unveiled in 1968.
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