Garden’s sensory area to be opened by Rachel Allen

Garden’s sensory area to be opened by Rachel Allen
Rachel Allen in her new restaurant, Rachel's, nearing completion at Washington Street, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane.

CELEBRITY Chef Rachel Allen will launch a new sensory area in the grounds of the Glen Resource Centre this coming Monday. 

This is the final phase of the development of a much-praised community garden at the site, which began in 2009 and which has been constantly improved and enlarged since.

The Glen Community Garden project has received ongoing support and funding from the HSE through Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and also features sustainable rain harvesting and waste management initiatives.

The new area which Ms Allen will officially open on Monday includes a new drainage system with paving and a seated area which has a wheelchair accessible pathway running through its centre.

Signage for the area has been supplied by Matt Talbot services and a handpainted sign developed by members of the group.

A Meitheal Mara canoe has been turned into a large flower bed and sits next to an existing vegetable area which also includes raised beds used by adjoining pre-school.

Flowers and plants in this area will be chosen over time for their foliage, colour and scent.

The garden itself is open seven days of the week and caters for visits from other community-based groups including schools, disability groups and mental health services.

The group behind the community garden project is made up of volunteers with additional members being referred from mental health services, community and voluntary sector, as well as engaging with both TUS and Jobridge initiatives. 

Funding for the project initially came from a joint partnership between the HSE Health Action Zone and NICHE. The project is now funded by The Glen Health Action Zone (HAZ); by the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Community work department and Cork City Council through its Local Environment grant scheme.

The group meets regularly on Wednesday mornings throughout the year from 11am to 1pm with horticulturist advice provided by Pat Sheehan in partnership with ETB Cork. 

The group aims to provide access to freshly grown local fruit and vegetables, and to increase local awareness of where food comes from, and the benefits fresh fruit and vegetables bring.

A spokesperson for the group said that they were delighted Ms Allen was attending the event as it reinforces and highlights the significant work to date.

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