Friends of Marple Memorial Park Task Days
The Friends hold regular task days in the park on the last Saturday of each month in the winter and the middle and last Saturday from March to November. Everyone is welcome to join in for as long or as short they wish during the specified times. Please note that children and young people under 18 should be accompanied by a responsible adult. The next task day is:
TASK DAYS ARE CURRENTLY RESTRICTED AND AT THIS TIME WE ARE NOT RECRUITING NEW VOLUNTEERS. IF YOU ARE AN EXISTING VOLUNTEER PLEASE CHECK EMAILS FOR MORE INFO.
We like to keep a record of what we get up and here are details of past task days.
AT LAST we're officially allowed back in the park!
Following release of guidance from the council and the production and approval of our own special risk assessment covering Covid19 precautions, our volunteers are now officially allowed back in the park. So we held our first authorised task day since March on Wednesday and it was all very different to how it used to be. In order to ease our way into it we returned with restricted numbers. Volunteers were asked to bring their own tools wherever possible and bins and communal tools were cleaned going in and out of the store and then "owned" by one individual for the session or cleaned again.
Thankfully small groups of volunteers and family units have come into the park of their own volition for exercise during the last few months and kept on top of the flowerbeds and other key maintenance. This is why the park is looking so good and if not for this it would be in a very sorry state. We thank everyone who took it upon themselves to do so.
Back in action today
Key items carried out include flowerbed and shrub bed maintenance, clearing shrub growth from around Hollins House handrails and pathways and bench maintenance. We even took time to take a look at damage reported to us on one of the picnic benches on the Recreation Ground that we restored way back in April / May 2013 and we will get this sorted too.
Great to get "Little Growers" up and running for 2020!
Returning to our normal schedule of task days meant we were back in the park again today and also launching this year's "Little Growers" events for 2020. The weather was much better and allowed us to set-up outside the library and engage with families using the play areas. We planted pots of seeds with 22 Little Growers, which was a great start to the season.
Out in the park, the main task was planting several 100 native whips - these are small bare-rooted tree saplings - mostly in the area where the Lock 11 compound caused the removal of trees and ground cover. We planted whips in several other areas of the park too and sowed some wildflower seed mix around the new trees planted in February.
We had a much-needed spring clean of our tool store and found lots of missing hand-tools! We also had a good tidy-up of the flowerbed in the Infants Play area and this is where we will be planting anything the Little Growers bring back this year.
The Bandroom garden is looking great!
The Bands make a regular donation to park funds in return for maintenance of their garden and hedges. March is one of the best times for this small garden, when the groups of daffodils we planted burst through to let us know that spring is here.
Considering only 24 hours notice we had a brilliant turnout
Our Task Day last weekend was cancelled due to the dreadful weather, so when we heard the forecast for today on Friday we decided to squeeze a replacement session in.
It was great to be able to get back on the the Memorial Flowerbeds at last, everything has been so wet, so this was our main focus for the day. Work in other areas included repairs to fencing down by the canal and continuing removal of self-seeded saplings in the canal-side woodland. We also picked litter and swept up glass at the park entrance and the skatepark.
Planting of trees on Tuesday 18 February
Back in February we also grabbed the opportunity to plant nine new trees in the gap in the woodland left by the works to repair Lock 11. The trees were paid for by CRT and our volunteers were helped by the Council's Neighbourhood Team.
Off to a great start with our task day programme for 2020 with a turnout of 22 volunteers!
We tackled a number of activities including redistribution of topsoil, maintenance of the Hollins House shrub beds, clearance of undergrowth to gain access for fence repairs, pulling of self-seeded saplings, tidying up around the library, creation of a wild-life habitat in the woodland behind the library and litter-picking throughout the park. We also organised collection of an old filing cabinet and a steel locker that was surplus after a recent kitchen refit to our Mess Room in the park.
Over the winter period we have also installed 6 new woodcrete bird boxes in the park. We'll soon be installing 6 more and we've submitted a grant application to the Stockport Hydro Environmental Challenge for a further 6 bird boxes and 6 bat boxes.
Visitors to the park must have been pleased to see us back as they popped over £27 in our donations bucket!
Can you support Friends of Marple Memorial Park via their 50-50 Club?
To generate a regular income to help fund projects in the park, this year we set-up a new 50-50 Club. This enables Friends of the Park supporters to make a regular monthly donation of £5 or more and be in with a chance of winning a cash prize each month too. So far, after only 4 draws, we've given away £656 in prizes and raised a similar amount for the park. If you'd like to support the park in this way, please sign-up to the Friends of Marple Memorial Park's 50-50 Club!
Removal of Nativity Sculptures from Market Street
In December we helped Churches Together install the steel Nativity Sculptures created by Wayne Chaisty on the usual bench in Market Street. Having learned how difficult it was to access the storage location in the All Saints' Church basement, we have agreed to store the sculptures at the park and take the lead on installing and removing them at the appropriate times in future.
We were blessed with a beautiful day to blow out the Christmas cobwebs on our last task day of the year.
In 2019 we have worked over 1,000 volunteer hours in the park! Today we cut-back overgrown shrubs behind the Infants Play Area, tidied the War Memorial Beds, continued crown-lifting of low branches on trees and cleared leaves around the Bowling Green too.
It was great to see our request to replace the missing drum sticks on the Pirate Ship has been fulfilled by the council too.