Efforts to make ‘Community Summer Picnic’ a new city tradition
Organisers of a 'Summer Picnic and Cycle in the Park' taking place on Sunday June 17 are hoping that the event will become an important element in Galway city’s social calendar.
According to Brendan Smith, spokesperson for the ‘Conservation Volunteers Terryland Forest Park & environs’, As part of Galway Bike Fest 2012, a number of community groups are working closely with Galway City Council in organising a cycle touring event through Terryland Forest Park that will finish with a mass picnic in parklands near to the Quincentennial Bridge.
“Our aim though is to ensure that this healthy outdoor fun event is not a ‘once-off’, but rather starts a whole new tradition in the city of hosting an annual community summer picnic for all ages that is characterised by family-friendly activities such as cycling, nature walks, outdoor games, juggling and music.
Groups such as ‘Conversation Volunteers Terryland Forest Park’, Castlegar Connect, Ballinfoile Mór RAPID, NUIG SIFE, Galway City Partnership and ‘Off the Beaten Track’ tours want people to nurture a sense of pride in their own locality and to re-discover the wonderful natural and social heritage that exists in neighbourhoods across the city
Cycling through forgotten bótharíns, past farmlands and along forest trails, participants will enjoy on June 17 an area steeped in folklore and history. This fascinating tour of a ‘Hidden Galway’ will encompass the ruins of medieval castles, rustic spring wells, abandoned farms, lost villages, dykes, Famine relief works, the sites of ancient battles and Victorian railways.
Stops along the journey will include a visit to the ‘Well Boreen’ whose restoration is being spearheaded by local residents, and onto the thriving ‘Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden’ to view the orchards, vegetable beds and rockeries being developed by local residents. Here attendees will be able to avail of teas/coffees and ice creams. Later we will call into the ‘Cumann na bhFear’ workshop on Sandy Road to see the anvil, hammers and tongs of a blacksmith’s forge in action.
The tour will culminate with a mass picnic near to the twelve year old community-planted woodlands located at the Quincentennial Bridge entrance of the Terryland Forest Park where it is expected traditional rural games such as outdoor bowling and potato picking, face-painters and musicians will entertain the attendees.
The event is free and will start at 2pm from Centra Foodstore on Bóthar an Chóiste. Participants should bring along their bicycles and food.