Innovative Community Planting Project Begins at Mallow Garda Station

National Learning Network Pathways Mallow students and teachers pictured with members of An Garda Siochana, Tidy Towns and local representatives at a community planting project at Mallow Garda Station last Friday.

National Learning Network Pathways Mallow students, supported by Community Garda John Fitzgerald, have joined forces with Mallow Tidy Towns, Mallow Gardaí and Costa Coffee to take on an innovative community planting project with a difference. The project highlights edible plants, herbs and flowers etc. and how useful they may be. We plan to raise awareness of the environmental and health benefits of getting to know which plants, herbs and flowers are edible and often growing wild in our communities.
The plants were planted in the Garda Station planters in Bowling Green car park, and in Costa Coffee planters. Firstly, students distributed a questionnaire to customers in Costa and staff at the Garda Station, and tabulated the answers and chose plants that both locations preferred.
Last Friday, 15th July, we had our first very successful planting day at the Garda Station. We got a very warm welcome from Inspector Miriam McGuire, Inspector Mary Skehan, Community Garda John Fitzgerald, Cllr James Kennedy and Cllr Liam Madden. Cllr Kennedy and Inspector McGuire were very impressed with the project and offered support going forward
Rosario, Eileen, Jillian and Mervyn from Tidy Towns were delighted to work in partnership with Pathways students who are planning to hold other planting days throughout the year.
To work with others on a joint project in a Meitheal system is of great benefit to mental wellbeing and improves a sense of connection and belonging. These are also cornerstones to healthy communities, and combat modern day isolation, especially in a post-Covid environment. The lost skill of growing food is now, more than ever, vitally important, especially in light of recent events in Ukraine and how our global food chains are affected.
Pathways students will also submit this project and get a QQI Community Participation accreditation for their work, and most importantly they get involved with local groups like Tidy Towns.
The successful one-year free Pathways Programme is currently accepting applications for the coming year, beginning in September 2022. We have limited places left on the programme so we encourage anyone interested to get their application in as soon as possible. Pathways students often go on the further education, employment and an improved quality of life. Please phone 087-667 7002 for more information.