McManus €3k grant to make scents at Westfields wetlands

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A GRANT of €3,000 from the JP McManus Foundation to the Westfields Wetlands Committee is to start making scents from next year with the clearing, landscaping and planting of a sensory area.

A GRANT of €3,000 from the JP McManus Foundation to the Westfields Wetlands Committee is to start making scents from next year with the clearing, landscaping and planting of a sensory area.

The Westfields group was one of 12 communities taking part in the Tidy Towns competition to benefit from the €50,000 Community Challenge prize pool, run earlier in the year in association with the Limerick Leader.

Work has already begun on transforming a patch of overgrown ground next to the protected city wetland environment,

Anna Hickey said the idea was to maximise the enjoyment of the environment for the visually impaired and other people with disabilities.

“We applied through the JP fund and got permission to put in a sensory area. Looking at where to do it, we said we couldn’t go into the protected wetland or the grove of trees next to it which is also protected. But we did have this area which was all rubble, broken trees and brambles which will suit it perfectly,” she said.

“We will be planting bluebells here next year. Then on the other side we will have raised beds so people coming in on the wheelchair ramp will be able to smell herbs without having to stoop down. We could have mint, thyme, marjoram, anything that has a nice smell so they will be able to smell, touch, pick and even eat them,” said Anna.

Mary McCarthy said the committee was working closely with children in local schools such as Salesians and Villiers but all green schools in the city would have an input.

The new sensory area was something for the whole city to enjoy, she said.