IWA Officially Opens Community Garden in Ballinagar

IWA Officially Opens Community Garden in Ballinagar

Friday, 01 August 2014

Members, staff and volunteers of the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) Resource and Outreach Centre located in Ballinagar were joined by local organisations, businesses and community supporters today as a new ornate, accessible, sensory garden was officially opened by the Association’s Chairman, Lt. General Gerry McMahon, on Wednesday 30th July 2014.

IWA members were involved in all stages of the development of the garden from the design, planning and fundraising to the completed beautiful and tranquil space. Features of the new sensory garden include a relaxing woodland area, accessible pathways, raised flower and plant beds, a serene water feature, seating areas and a polytunnel which will be used to grow a variety of herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Speaking at the opening ceremony Lt. General Gerry McMahon said:

With the support of the local community, County Council and other voluntary organisations IWA was able to access this piece of ground with a dream to create a beautiful space where people with disabilities could enjoy building and maintaining their own sensory garden. I have seen tremendous community spirit in Tullamore today and would like to thank all involved in the construction of the garden. I hope everyone will enjoy the ornate tranquillity of such a beautiful garden.

The Irish Wheelchair Association, Resource and Outreach Centre in Ballinagar, Tullamore was officially opened in 2009, and over the last five years has greatly expanded and developed. The Resource and Outreach Centre supports over 50 people with disabilities from Tullamore and the surrounding areas on a weekly basis.

The community garden will provide educational opportunities for individuals who attend the Resource and Outreach Centre with plans to create and sustain a crop rotation programme, cultivating fruit and vegetables and carrying out recycling and compost projects. Josephine Kenny, IWA Service Coordinator oversaw the construction of the community garden and explained the importance of the opening:

Our members will benefit hugely from this initiative which was made possible by the hard work and determination of so many local individuals, organisations and fundraisers who have been actively raising the necessary funds to support IWA to complete the community garden.

For further information about the range of services and supports which the Association provides to people with disabilities and others with mobility impairments in Tullamore and the surrounding areas please contact 057 935 0065 or email tullamore@iwa.ie

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