North Glasgow Community Food Initiative celebrates the official opening of the Milton Community and Memorial Gardens with Richard Lochhead, MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment on Wednesday 9th September
Official opening event details:
10:45am on Wednesday 9th September at Milton Community and Memorial Gardens, Liddesdale Square, Milton, G22 7BT
The Milton Community and Memorial Gardens have been funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (£276,000 over three years) and the Big Lottery Fund (£184,000 over two years). Both gardens will be officially opened by Richard Lochhead and a short service will then be led by representatives from local faiths. This will be followed by a community lunch and an afternoon of celebration activites in the community garden.
Beginning as an idea of a local soldier to remember his fellow comrades, Milton Memorial Garden soon became a life changing experience for Chris Woods. From placing the first spade into the ground as a volunteer four years ago, Chris is now a, Building, Landscaping and Gardening trainee dedicating his personal time as a volunteer as well as gaining experience and training for a new career path. Since starting the Memorial Garden, Chris and his fellow local volunteers have seen a huge benefit to the local community, something NGCFI is committed to sustaining and building upon. “I am very happy and proud of how the garden has turned out. Seeing it blossom into a beautiful garden is simply amazing; it means so much to me and is a huge part of my life. It’s great to see the local community come to use it, take part and be proud of what has been achieved. I have met some great people and made friends for life” said Chris Woods. The final touches to the Memorial Garden have recently been completed with wooden memorial boxes being made and painted by local volunteers with names of remembered loved ones carved into the front.
Besides its weekly gardening activities with local volunteers, Milton Community Garden has been very busy running a successful fruit a veg barra and a pop-up café. It is hoped the official opening of both gardens will bring more members of the Milton community to get involved with producing and harvesting their own food with an adjourning location to remember lost loved ones or simply to have quiet time. NGCFI also delivers many cookery courses in the area.
David Gunn, Director at Keep Scotland Beautiful said: “We have worked with the North Glasgow Community Food Initiative since 2011 through supporting the development and implementation of their Milton Crunch Climate Challenge Fund projects. We look forward to attending the launch of Milton Community Garden and celebrating how the Milton Crunch projects have increased understanding of climate change in the local area and the action community members can take to tackle climate change.”
“Keep Scotland Beautiful is very proud to support community action on climate change through our management and development of the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government and see it as part of our work to make Scotland clean, green and more sustainable.”
Maureen McGinn, Scotland Chair at Big Lottery Fund said: ‘’Our Community Spaces funding has enabled many communities in Scotland to get together to shape their neighbourhood by making better use of outdoor and indoor space. This Memorial Garden is an excellent example of the programme in action, involving a range of local groups to turn a small plot of land into a tranquil place where people can go to remember their loved ones. Volunteers have been the lifeblood of the project and it’s their work that should be celebrated as this new garden officially opens to the whole community.”
Bob Doris, MSP has also showed continual support for the project, and adds: ‘’The Memorial Garden in the heart of Milton is a tribute to the dedication and vision of local volunteers who want to pay respects to the memory of loved ones, as well as enhance their local environment. That Memorial, along with the Milton Community Garden, are fantastic examples of what the Milton community can achieve. I pay tribute to all involved and I have no doubt the gardens will be a real boost for local health and wellbeing, provide an exceptional community facility and promote the sustainable use of food locally’’
Patricia Ferguson, MSP said: “I am delighted that the involvement of the North Glasgow Food Initiative in Milton has resulted in the creation of a Community and Memorial Garden. Every community needs some green space where people can meet and grow plants, flowers and vegetables or just enjoy one another’s company and the area around them. The garden in Milton is a great example of a community space that is designed to reflect the needs of local people who are already using and enjoying the garden which is a real focal point for community activity.’
Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, said: “The development of this Memorial Garden is a fantastic story, and all of those involved over the years deserve enormous credit for bring the idea to fruition. I am delighted to say that Glasgow City Council has supported this project, which is a real source of pride in the community and provides a focal point for local people.”
Councillor Kieran Wild said “North Glasgow Community Food Initiative are doing tremendous work in building the Milton Community and Memorial Gardens as they give a neglected part of the city positive spaces where people can spend quiet time and also learn about growing food and cooking. I have the utmost respect at the fortitude shown by the organisation and their volunteers’’.