The only way is up for West Belfast Community Garden
Published: Fri, 27 Jun 2014
The John Street/Hamill Street area of West Belfast, which is bounded on all sides by main arterial routes, has little or no green space.
However, that has now changed with the creation of ‘hanging’ gardens by St Mary’s Community Group, with a little help from the Housing Executive.
The Housing Executive’s Community Grant provided the financial assistance to help St Mary’s. These grants have also helped other community groups promote initiatives that enhance the welfare of tenants and residents living within their areas.
Sean Fryers from St Mary’s Community Group tells us a little about the project - “The lack of green space in this area is well recognised so we thought if we can’t build out then why not up, and asked the Housing Executive for help in bringing the project to fruition.
“We had lots of people, young and old, involved in the project but even those who didn’t participate in the actual planting process can benefit from a much more attractive environment.
“While the project has all the usual health advantages associated with green areas, the added bonus is that it should also help reduce graffiti in the area as the planters and hanging baskets will be up against exterior walls in the John Street and Hamill Street area as well as the nearby St Mary’s School.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Housing Executive for supporting this project. It really will make a big difference, not just for the residents but also the wider community, as the flowers will be visible to anyone walking or driving in the city centre passing by the streets.”
The Housing Executive’s West Belfast Area Manager, Sharon Beattie, added, “Community grants are there to help residents and community groups promote initiatives that benefit local communities, and this project will certainly do that.
“This gave the community and local pupils an outlet to hone their gardening skills, and was a great success. The local community will be looking after the planters and baskets, and it is a very innovative way of helping address the problem of graffiti. That is definitely something that we, as an organisation, very much welcome, and the floral display is a great bonus.”