People's Park Trees given new lease of life

Press Release, Monday, April 28th 2014
Some of the oldest and rarest trees knocked in Limerick’s People’s Park by Storm Darwin are being given a new lease of life by being transformed into works of art by the Council’s Parks Department.
The historic People’s Park closed for two weeks in February after Storm Darwin caused 19 trees to fall and work was needed to repair damaged pavements, railings and unblock pathways.
Quite a few trees were lost, but staff were particularly sad to lose one of the rarest trees in the park, a beautiful ornamental tree called a 'Tetradium Danielli” which was about 80 or 90 years old.
It's commonly called a ‘Bee Bee’ tree as it is covered in late July and August with masses of small white flowers which attracts large numbers of bees as a source of late summer honey. It's especially valued when few other tree-size plants are flowering and the flowers produce clusters of seed that are present from late August through November.
“David Murphy, Parks Supervisor, thought it would be a great idea to commemorate the BeeBee tree which we all really loved as did members of the public,” explained Tara Flanagan, senior executive engineer, Limerick City and County Council. “So he spoke to Zambian woodcarver Paradazi Havatyitye who carved three beautiful bees in the remaining stump and we’re delighted with how beautiful it turned out.”
The Parks Department also arranged for the Special Olympics logo to be carved in another storm damaged tree to commemorate the fact that that Special Olympics Ireland Games will be held in Limerick this June.
A re-planting programme is currently underway to fully restore the Park to its former glory.
Although relatively small in size at just 10 acres, the Peoples’ Park is one of Ireland’s premier parks.
Limerick City Council's Park Staff were instrumental in the Park achieving national awards in 2003 and 2004 along with securing Ireland’s first Green Flag award in 2008.
It has remained largely unchanged since it was officially opened in 1877 and given to the People of Limerick in honour of Richard Russell, a prominent local businessman.
The layout and many of the original features such as the railings and pavilions remain and the 1895 bandstand is currently undergoing renovation.
Limerick Civic Trust in association with Limerick City Council provided new benches throughout the park over the last few years that were purposely designed with the elderly and disabled in mind.
The two Victorian Pavilions in the Park were also restored along with the new entrance gateway know as the Pery Gate, facing Colbert Train Station and the Richard Russell Fountain was also extensively restored in recent times.
Work is currently underway to refurbish the 1895 Bandstand in the Park and this will provide an additional heritage feature for users of the park to enjoy.

Last update:28/04/2014

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