A CONNECTION between people and place has been nurtured thanks to a community tree planting project in Kilmallock.
As part of the initiative, which was organised by Kilmallock Tidy Towns along the new riverside walk, 45 trees have been sponsored by local people and the Kilmallock diaspora based in Australia and the UK.
“It has received huge local support. The event is not just about planting trees, bettering the environment, or even the beautiful riverside walk, it is about community and the connection between people and place,” said John Tierney, chairman of Kilmallock Tidy Towns committee.
The project was officially unveiled last Sunday when families from across the local area gathered first at the fire station for an official ceremony before making their way along the walk where plaques were then attached to the trees.
Two families travelled from England for the event while members of the Phelan family in Australia were sent instant photos of a tree planted in memory of their father.
“By the time the trees had the plaques on them, there were photos on the far side of the world. In addition to planting the trees, it was also about the whole community aspect of it and that’s what really went down well with everybody. It is something that adds to the town,” John continued.
In a speech at the fire station to mark the opening, Paul Ferns thanked and commended Limerick City and County Council for the beautiful work done on the 500m walk way.
“The tarmac finish allows easy access for buggies and wheelchairs and is now widely used since its completion,” added John.
“This is the first stage of a 5km loop walk that will link the great sites of Kilmallock such as the Collegiate church, the abbey, the river and the medieval town wall,” he added.
After the gathering in the fire station where refreshments were served and the plaques were presented to their sponsors, the large crowd walked along the new path. The sponsors then attached their own plaques to their trees.
The trees were blessed Fr David Casey and Fr Joe Cussen who is an avid walker.
Ahern Nurseries Kilmallock supplied and supervised the planting of the 45 hornbeam, silver birch and cherry trees while Kilmallock CE scheme did the planting and staking. The Ballyhoura TUS scheme supplied the wooden tables and stakes.
Thanks were also extended to Kilmallock Fire Service for the use of their premises and Deebert Hotel for their hospitality.
“This tree planting project in a beautiful natural environment is a welcome addition to Kilmallock and will be a wonderful amenity for years to come,” said John.
Next winter it is planned to do more planting on the loop walk.
For more details on this or other Tidy Towns projects see the Kilmallock Tidy Town’s Facebook page.
“If anyone would like to get involved in Kilmallock Tidy Towns please contact us, as new members and ideas are always welcome,” said John.
See page 20 for more pictures from the launch