The local Friends of Grove Park approached Groundwork Northern Ireland for technical assistance to develop plans for a community garden on an open green space site near to the bowling pavilion in Grove Park, North Belfast.
|EB number||173082||LCF funding||£42,739|
|Project postcode||BT15 3GJ||Total project cost||£53,833|
The project aimed to transform a derelict piece of vacant park land into a resource for the benefit of the whole community. It planned to provide seating, community growing areas, fruit bushes to encourage a healthier lifestyle as well as installing elements to encourage insect, butterfly and bird life into the park.
The project wanted to build a safe and secure community garden within Grove Park, with access for all, where all members of the community could come together to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.
The project transformed the unused green space within the park into a public amenity whilst protecting the area as a horticultural green space. Through an inclusive community development
approach the project increased:
- understanding of horticulture within the community;
- pride with the space; and
- use of the park.
As a result there has been a decrease in episodes of vandalism and antisocial behaviour.
The park is home to a variety of wildlife and flora and fauna which provide a tool to enhance awareness and education across the community. Engagement in this area was increased through activities such as such as building bird and bat boxes to encourage wildlife into the area.
The project also introduced the concept of growing your own food.The garden included:
- raised beds to facilitate participation by older people and people with special needs;
- an area for traditional growing;
- a polytunnel for indoor growing and propagation;
- a network of paths leading to each area;
- an events and demonstration area for educational workshops;
- an area for a community orchard made up of fruit trees and soft fruit bushes;
- a compost area to encourage recycling of green waste;
- a seating area with picnic tables for pleasure;
- containers for storage; and
- meeting space.
It was the intention of the Friends of Grove Park group to provide a resource for the local community to enjoy on a daily basis, to encourage local schools, community organisations and day care facilities to use the gardens as well as individual members of the community.