Herbs, hardbacks and herculean handicraft - helping Hornsby stay healthy

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Hornsby Shire Council is continuing to adjust to the challenges of COVID-19, launching services to deliver books and plants to people’s homes.

It is also taking further steps to ease the burden for local businesses and has brought some much-needed vibrancy to the community with a public art project.

“These are challenging times that affect everybody and Council is working hard to find ways to make it easier for our community members,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said.

“At the same time we are doing everything possible to adjust our operations so we can get on with the services we have been entrusted to deliver.”

The library’s Pick and Drop service will allow members to choose items – including books, DVDs, CDs and other media - from the extensive catalogue to be delivered to their door.

“If you’re not sure what you want, you can simply describe your interests and our dedicated staff will choose something especially for you,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“We have had a service like this for many years for people who are unable to visit the libraries – which now includes all of us.

“The goal is to support social distancing, helping to keep people’s minds active as they remain isolated in their homes.”

Staff will arrange a pick-up once the four-week loan period has expired. If you are not yet a library member you can join online.

Visit to find out more and access the service.

Today, Hornsby Library also launched a Facebook page to keep residents up to date with available services, while also entertaining and engaging them with posts about a range of topics.

Another new Council initiative is the Nursery Express service, which will deliver vegetable seedlings from our Community Nursery to people’s homes.

“A lot of people are seeing this time in isolation as an opportunity to develop their green thumbs and we want to encourage that,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“It would be a great side benefit of this unfortunate situation if we come out the other side with a host of backyard vegetable patches scattered across the Shire.”

To access the Nursery Express service visit

Meanwhile, Council has proved that not everything in life has to be focussed on COVID-19, commissioning an artwork by Scott Nagy and Krimsone at the Thornleigh Community Recycling Centre (image attached).

“This is an impressive achievement on many levels,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“First of all is the excellent artwork itself, with the native birds that are perfect for marking the location of our recycling centre and its goal of environmental protection.

“More than that, though, is the fact that Council is continuing to support the local art scene despite the very difficult economic challenges we are facing.

“It proves that art and culture are a top priority for our Council and our community.”

The community certainly are thrilled by the work, with a Facebook post on the weekend gaining well over a thousand likes.

While on the subject of recycling, the latest reverse vending machine has been installed at the Brickpit for community use.

This is the fourth to be installed in Hornsby Shire, with the others at Hornsby Westfield, Galston Club and Berowra Heights.

Finally, Council is continuing to support local businesses with the difficulties of COVID-19 through its Hornsby Helps initiative.

Most recently Council has decided to defer or waive the fees for safety inspection at food businesses that are still open, depending on the size of the business.

“We want to make sure that a strong local economy emerges at the other side of this situation, so we’re taking all the steps we can to lighten the burden for small businesses,” Mayor Ruddock said.

“When viewed altogether, these various initiatives are an impressive testament to the way our staff are adapting to the challenges our community is facing.

“We are determined to do everything in our power to help our community through this unprecedented situation, while continuing to provide the services that are at the core of our mission statement.”