2019 is proving to be a busy and exciting year for the Friends of the Park.
As well as the development of the community café, the group have put together a varied and innovative number of projects to improve the local park and to provide opportunities for new and existing members to work together.
Parents can also help their children to learn more about nature and how good it is to know that, by getting involved, you have made a difference for today and the future, while having fun.
The Pergola, Tunnel and Lych Gate
We are planning to create a pergola in the park with an integrated tunnel covered with vines and flowers, which will lead towards the Lych Gate. This will be a space where people can sit and enjoy a cup of tea and cake, or whatever other item from the community café might appeal, while surrounded by the scent of the flowers and shaded from the sun. Of course, it might be raining, but we’re confident the food will live up to expectations and the experience will still be enjoyable!
Although plans are in the early stages, we are designing peaceful areas with a central games table, surrounded by living walls adorned with carefully selected flowers.
This will be a place where people can join together to play games like backgammon, chess or draughts, read, or just relax and watch the events around them.
The Friends hope to be able to reduce costs by undertaking some of the work, such as planting and some groundwork, themselves, but expertise is desperately needed. This project will enhance the local environment and provide a new and enjoyable haven in the park for everyone. So any volunteer help, particularly from individuals or companies who have expertise in this field will be very gratefully appreciated.
The Sensory Garden
The creation of a beautiful sensory garden is planned to be situated around the forthcoming café area.
This is an exciting addition to the park and will allow the community to enjoy the scent of the specially chosen plants, to feel textures and experience sounds that will be built in to the garden area, as well as providing a relaxing area in which to enjoy and learn about plants and wildlife.
The sensory gardens will be adapted to suit a wide variety of users, incorporating benches, paths, rocks, water fountains, bird feeders and garden art into the sensory space. As well as stimulating the senses, the area will allow toddlers to try out their gardening skills, while around them people can relax and enjoy the good things on offer from the café, or simple enjoy the view.
Bat & Bird Boxes & The Mesh Network
There are plans in progress to install bat and bird boxes in the park, with online facilities, allowing locals to view the activities taking place there.
The bat walk, held last year, proved to be a hit with those who attended, and we are sure that many families and individuals will enjoy watching the activities of these intriguing flying mammals. In addition, the great variety of birdlife that can be seen in the area will be highlighted for everyone to log in and see.
Each bat and bird box will be securely located with live feed cameras offering potentially great footage. The mesh network, which is being created, is a collection of routers and repeaters that are bound together to create a wide area network for use around the grounds. This will allow the local community to access these cameras to watch our local wildlife. This network will also allow us to move towards a completely digitised community group, which in turn will allow quick reporting of events.
This is an exciting addition to the park and will help the community to understand more about the wildlife around us.
The existence of the boxes should also help local wildlife and give young people, in particular, an ideal opportunity to learn about and enjoy the wildlife around them, in a non-intrusive way.
Updating Signage and Walking Paths
As the existing information signs in the park have become very dilapidated, or out of date, the Friends are working on the creation of new signs that are easy to read and understand. Symbols and icons will be used as much as possible, to help people for whom English is not their first language, for those with learning disabilities and other challenges, and young children who are learning to read.
Signs will also be installed to designate 1k, 2k and 5k walks around the park, promoting a healthy lifestyle. The routes have been planned and “nature passports”, which are aimed at young people linked to the Harrow Nature Heroes scheme, have already been designed. The walks will incorporate natural features of interest, bug homes and seating for those who need to take a break. The goal is to record suitable seating available in the local area and toilet facilities offered by local businesses, to allow people to plan their walk with the comfort of knowing where these facilities can be found.
As well as encouraging the natural benefits of walking, group walks and staged walks for the less able are planned, so offering opportunities to those who may not otherwise consider walking and for those who would benefit from a social activity.
This project will be carried out with the support of local businesses. Funding has already been allocated for the signage, but more donations will be needed. Expert help with the design of the signage will also be invaluable.
The forthcoming events are packed with something for everyone, whatever your focus. Joining in brings the opportunity of finding out more about the people in your community, making friends, feeling good about participating, and knowing that you can make a difference by volunteering when help is needed.
Old Fashioned Barn dance – Friday 12th April 2019 at 7.00pm. (EVENT DETAILS)
Tickets: £12 (including meat or vegetarian meal)
If you’re feeling energetic and love to dance, this event will have you on your feet. A professional caller will take control of the proceedings. But, if you don’t feel quite as lively, why not come along and watch others dance and enjoy a burger and bun with a doughnut to follow. A vegetarian alternative will be provided on request. Please let us know about any dietary requirements in advance.
Super Sunday with Bagels – Sunday 14th April 2019 at 10.00am (DETAILS) Free event
This regular event is free to all who join in, with the added bonus of a free outdoor breakfast and experiencing the feel good factor for having helped to keep our local park free of litter. Some other small jobs may be undertaken, as needed on the day. To join in, just come along to the hut by the bowling green and meet with other like-minded local volunteers!
EGGstravaganza – Wednesday 17th April 2019 2.00pm – 4.00pm (EVENT DETAILS) Free event
This is a free event for local children. All children under 7 years old, must be accompanied by an adult. Join in the fun ,solve the clues, hunt for eggs and much more. Meet at the Pavilion in the park to get started.
Art for Park’s Sake - Saturday 11th May 2019 12.00 noon (EVENT DETAILS) Free event
This is a very special first time event being held in the park, which will be attended by The Worshipful The Mayor of the London Borough of Harrow. All age groups are welcome and entry is free.
As well as a very innovative art exhibition to be held undercover in the park, there will opportunities for the community to try out their own artistic skills. Help to paint a large canvas of an old master, or for children, decorate a pebble, or write your very special wish on a tag to go on the specially decorated wishing tree.
You can also choose to display some art on yourself, by having your face painted, or just enjoy listen to music and enjoy the variety of food on offer. There will also be stalls for you to browse around.
Friends’ Monthly Meeting – Monday 13th May 7.00pm (EVENT DETAILS + Minutes from last meeting)
Join us at the Harrow Weald Memorial Hall for our monthly Friends’ meeting. Updates will be given on the progress of projects and fundraising, and you will have the opportunity to offer suggestions and ideas for future events, to raise any concerns that affect the local community, and to meet members of the committee.
Without our community all of this would not be possible.
If you wish to volunteer to help with any events, click here.
With the current projects in mind we are particularly keen to hear from people who are good at gardening and would like to become part of our regular gardening crew.
If you run a gardening, building, designing, or similar business and would be happy to volunteer your time, or offer your services to help us achieve all of the above aims, we would be delighted to hear from you.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO ANY OF THE ABOVE PROJECTS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
FUNDRAISING PROGRESS TO DATE:
Sensory Garden: £4200 raised - Our goal: £9600
Lych Gate: £600 raised - Our goal: £3200
Pergola & Tunnel: £700 raised - Our goal: £4000
Bat & Bird Houses: £1500 raised - Our goal: £4225
Mesh Network: £400 raised - Our goal: £3750
Volunteers aren't paid.
Not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.
A big thank you to all our volunteers.