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.
Well that was a wet one with only the diehards coming out to play!
We worked mainly on the borders alongside the pathway to the Reading Circle behind the library and it looked a bit of a mess by the time we'd finished. This is because we have placed an order for a contractor to come and resurface the circle and pathway in around a month's time. The pathway is to be widened to comply with the latest requirements for wheelchairs (it did comply when we created the Reading Circle in 2008 but recommendations have changed a little) so we moved as many plants as we could out of the way. Once the work is done we can then have a good sort out and get it back to its best.
We were joined by a new young volunteer called Tommy, who is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award and will be working with us for the next 3 months or so. Hopefully next time Tommy will enjoy better weather!
The flowerbeds are filling out nicely and the park is starting to look its very best, so it was great to get out there in the sunshine with our regular volunteers.
Lots of work was done in the flowerbeds and the shrub beds, including trying out our new "Pullerbear" all the way from Canada. This is a special tool for pulling out small to medium self-seeded saplings and it works brilliantly. We haven't been able to find anything like it made in the UK, so it was well worth the wait for it to ship from Canada and even to pay customs duty on it. As you will see, it's also perfect for leaning on! We also carried out repairs and maintenance to the sculpture in the Reading Circle, got stuck into maintaining the benches in the park and used our new mower donated to us by a resident in the Bandroom Garden.
We put out a display board telling people about our plan for a new 50-50 Club and also our donation bucket, which was filled with almost £13 by the time we had finished for the day.
It was great to see Lock 11 open again and boats at last passing through the canal. CRT and their contractors have done a very good job and we look forward to the park being reinstated after Marple Carnival.
Today the park hosted the fifth Annual Treasure Hunt organised in partnership with local estate agent Julian Wadden. The weather held for the best part of the day and it was great to see so many children and families enjoying the park again.
5th Annual Treasure Hunt
This year's Treasure Hunt was an incredible success, raising £2,697 for the park. A huge thank you to Julian Wadden Estate Agents and our volunteer Diane Jackson, who does such an amazing job engaging with local businesses to raise sponsorship and raffle prizes for this brilliant event, which is growing in popularity each year. For a full report on this year's Treasure Hunt and details of the businesses who supported it, please take a look at our 2019 Treasure Hunt Report.
Task day volunteers...
A good turnout by volunteers and those not directly involved in the Treasure Hunt worked hard on the main flowerbeds, in the Bandroom Garden and on painting metal fixtures and fittings throughout the park, including the library handrails.
We also put out a large number of surplus pots around the war memorial and gave them away for free (but asked for donations). A fantastic £40 was left in our donation bucket, which was added to the Treasure Hunt total.
Today's task day looked like being rained off but we were keen to do the last day of "Little Growers" and Marple Library staff came to our aid and kindly allowed us to set up inside. So a very big thank you to them! The first stage of Little Growers is now finished and we look forward to welcoming back the children in a few months time to plant the fruits of their success.
Meanwhile, outside it wasn't actually as bad as we expected most of the time and we managed to get work done in the Band Room garden, the Jubilee Bed and lots of dead-heading of daffodils throughout the park. We also tested out the new petrol lawn mower donated to us by a local resident. It will certainly come in handy at times, although cutting the grass is a task we prefer to leave to the council so we will use it sparingly.
As there were no photos taken during our Task Day on Saturday 13 April we've included a few showing the fantastic colours in the park at the moment. Volunteers worked hard on the flowerbeds, litter picking and on the tree sculpture behind the library.
Little Growers was running again too and visitors to the park popped over £11 in our collection bucket, so thank you!
Our Task Day scheduled for 16 March was rained off, so it was good to get some sunshine this weekend!
On Friday 29th we worked with Greenspace Project Officer Wayne Bardsley to repair the fence at the entrance to the park next to Lock 12. This had been broken in the winter by fallen branches - repaired by us - and then broken again by vandals after they helped the large post reached the end of it useful life by breaking it off and chucking it in the canal. Greenspace provided all the materials needed for the job and with a brand new main post hopefully this will last a good few years now.
On Saturday 30th we were mainly focused on the flowerbeds once again, which are sprouting fresh new colours in every direction. We also launched this year's "Little Growers" scheme, where we invite children to plant a seed, take it home to nurture and then bring it back to plant in the park once it has grown. We had over 20 little visitors, so this year we're off the a great start. We will be repeating this on Saturday 13 and Saturday 27 April too.
We also had a clear-out of our store and put out some free pots for people to help themselves. With donations for these, from Little Growers and from Park Visitors we ended up with just over £35 in our collection bucket.