There was a great attendance at last Tuesday’s meeting in the Menlo Park Hotel called to help in organising a neighbourhood Harvest Festival at 12.00-2.30pm on Sat Sept 10th in the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden.
The discussions and the resulting proposals were ambitious but nevertheless achievable.
Participants agreed to provide at the Harvest Festival the following:
a) mass display of children’s Scarecrows b) Arts activities including Face-Sketching by local children c) Music & ents (on stage) from local musicians d) Stalls selling locally-produced Organic Veg and Fruit produce e) multi-ethnic Cuisine(Irish, African, Asian f) Family Picnic area g) Bicycle Maintenance Workshop h) Displays of locally produced Crafts i) Recruitment Stall for new Men’s Skills Club (Cumann na bhFear j) Nature Tours (hourly) of neighbouring Terryland Forest Park.
Recent Scarecrow to Garden
Furthermore, it was agreed to continue with the mapping of walking and cycling routes in the Ballinfoile-Castelgar-Menlo localities.
Last year’s Ballinfoile Harvest Festival and the ongoing success of the Castlegar Boreen Festival shows that the spirit of the traditional Irish rural ‘Meitheal’ is making a comeback in Galway city.
Raised Beds, constructed by local volunteers
Raised beds in Polytunnel, constructed by local volunteers
Ballindooley/Castlegar Walking Route
View along the proposed new Ballindooley-Castlegar 'Greenway'
In advance of the Harvest Festival, it was further agreed to support local residents and landowners in a major clean up of a botharín that has been identified as a possible major new scenic walking and cycling route that links the Headford Road (near Ballindooley cross) and Tuam road (near Clooncauneen Castle).
Councillor Frank Fahy has liaised with local farmers and has secured broad support for its development as an ‘Off the Beaten Track’.
The clean-up will take place on Saturday Sept 3rd. Rendezvous: 10am at Ballindooley Stores.
Discussions are also taking place with Rosie Webb of Galway City Council on development of further 'greenways' in the Terryland Forest Park environs.
Terryland Forest Park Clean-Up
Members in attendance from the Lisbrook Asylum Seekers Accommodation Centre agreed to coordinate a clean-up of a section of the Terryland Forest Park in advance of the Harvest Festival (details to follow soon).
Children’s Giant Eco-themed Mural
Last summer, City Arts Officer James Harrold commissioned artist Margaret Nolan to work with local children in creatively coming up with ideas to transform the ugly exterior of the multi-purpose (kitchen, toilets & storage) container into a giant canvass dedicated to Nature, gardening, agriculture and themselves.
The mural covered three sides of the unit. Local adult volunteers spent a week sandblasting the walls in preparation for the painting.
In advance of the Festival, Margaret will once again work with the local children and garden committee to complete the artwork.
Wildlife-friendly garden ethos
Volunteers Urgently Needed
Many Hands Make Light Work!
Next meeting will take place at 7.30pm on September 1st in the Menlo Park.
Everyone is invited to support this exciting neighbourhood ‘Meitheal’ project. So if you feel you can contribute something and could not attend the last meeting, please contact us asap! This community initiative needs lots of volunteering help and advice to make it a success. So if you have any ideas for:
Children’s arts /crafts activities, nature walks, eco-stalls… or would just like to assist on the day in general volunteering, we would love to hear from you.
Building a traditional Irish rural stone wall