Spring 2022 for the Lisdrumgullion Community Group in Newry has witnessed it's environmental initiatives come to bloom from what initially was a 'Flowers of Hope' project in February 2021 has now developed into a wider reimaging projects at Drumgullion Avenue and Lisgullion Park.
Group member John McCabe who is also a Newry Housing Executive Community Champion and a member of the Executive's Community Network explains:
"Just over a year ago adhering to Covid-19 restrictions we encouraged parents, guardians and local children to plant flower bulbs at an adopted piece of land at the entrance to Drumgullion Avenue in the hope that when they came to fruition the worse of the pandemic would be over which proved to be the case.
Following from this two further adopted pieces of land were planted with flower bulbs one beside the existing planted area and 600 native bluebells at the high bank at Drumgullion and Lisgullion.
In acknowledgement and reciprocation to our efforts the Housing Executive upon request in May 2021 created a 22 meter perimeter raised bed at Drumgullion adding 42 shrubs."
John went on to explain that their groups attention turned to a neglected unloved entry at Drumgullion bus stop when in June 2021 the group launching 'Operation Rainbow' which entailed the painting of a drab pedestrian security fencing and the digging and planting of a strip of land at the entry.
The group receives funding from no one and financing of projects comes from out of group members pockets and they desired to plant flowers at the entry and after negotiations he was delighted to receive two sacks containing 600 Narcissus bulbs from Newry Mourne and Down District Council in October 2021.
He continued "To add to our developments we recently held an estate inspection with Orla McCann from Supporting Communities and Ann Finnegan Council Environmental Officer and a Toolkit was complied which will be forwarded to the various relevant bodies for possible improvements throughout Drumgullion and Lisgullion.
This Spring and Summer should see all our hard works over 18 months come into full bloom and only last week we invited children and parents to plant ornamental birds, beetles, turtles and bees to enhance one of the adopted Community gardens."
John concluded that his group would like to make the adopted planted areas more secure and permanent with other new projects in mind and he calls upon the DEA who are currently engaged in reimaging projects to assist the Lisdrumgullion Community Group who have an established works maintenance pattern with the wider Community benefiting.