Fed up with nowhere to play in Windy Arbour and Milltown, kids have built a makeshift playground in the land behind the grotto at St Galls Gardens. Now they need your help to make it safe.
Walking to the Mulberry Bush over the past weeks, we noticed quite a few kids of all ages swinging on ropes through the trees. It looked like they were having fun, so we investigated.
One tree has been cut down and a thin blue rope with a wooden swing seat on the end has been attached to the upper branches of another tree. The tree wobbles quite a bit when the heavier kids swing. But whee! it looks like great fun, and Hats off - they did it for themselves. "We came in one day and the tree was gone. Then someone put the rope up," explained Courtney.
Kids climb the rocky wall behind the grotto to launch themselves and then - watch out Tarzan!, they're off. It works very well for the older kids, and the little ones are content to climb on the felled tree trunk and watch hopefully. And wait. But it's a start. How can this play space be made safer and improved. Can we afford to put a slide in there for the little ones? we'r hoping to have a public meeting later this year and we hope that you will come along and give us your ideas.
We asked the Parish Priest if the Catholic Church owns this land and he said it was not church land. So as far as we are aware, the land is publicly owned and is the responsibility of Dun Laoghaire County Council.
While some people are not too happy about the land behind the grotto being used as a playground, people have been accessing tis green space through a gap where the railings was removed for at least 30 years. Workers from the local creche occasionally take the children into the green space for picnics.
We have asked DLR CoCo whether this would be a suitable site for a playground and they are presently consulting with people about all the green spaces and parkland in the county, so now is your chance to do something positive to improve your area. Support our campaign by filling in the council questionaire. It's at www. strategicleisure.co.uk/DLR
This is your chance to invest in young people's future, reduce vandalism and help to build a community. So Join our campaign to get children a safe place to play in Milltown and Windy Arbour.
All the best to you and yours,
Update It's now February 1st 2011. It's Almost two years since I posted this story. DLR has cut down the tree that the kids used to make their swing. We're still waiting on the results of DLRCoCOs Open Spaces Consultation.
The Mulvey & Columbanus Community Group has sent a petitition to DLR with more than 200 resident's names asking for our playground to be rebuilt. Louise Keogh, The CAMCG Chair says most people want the playground to be built on Columbanus Green its original site overlooking the Dodder and the old dartry Laundry,near Milltown Luas Stop.
What do you think?