Community garden opens to children

MCCI group at new community garden in Methilhill - first stage complete July 2014
MCCI group at new community garden in Methilhill - first stage complete July 2014

A local children’s group has completed the first stage of its community garden project, just five months after first detailing its plans.

Methilhill Community Children’s Initiative (MCCI) first revealed its plans for the community learning garden back in February, and now thanks to funding received from the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Community Projects Fund, they have already completed the first stage.

The funding, worth £1500, has enabled the group to transform a piece of waste ground close to Methilhill Primary School into an outdoor learning garden to provide an opportunity for the whole community to engage with nature and encourages physical activity and community spirit.

The installation of pathways in the design of the space means it is accessible to all members of the community and the variety of plants purchased will create seasonal interest in the site and will help to attract biodiversity.

Shirley Faichney from MCCI said: “Local children and young people have been involved in the creation of the learning space from choosing the plants to laying the bark pathways and restoring the wall.

“We have created a valuable community resource and source of ecological education for our local children and young people.”

In time, the group hopes to raise more funds to build a community cafe and kitchen on the land to create learning opportunities and build a sustainable income for the local community.

Supported by Forestry Commission Scotland, the CSGN Community Projects Fund provides one-off grants of up to £3,000 to support small-scale projects at a grass-roots level to improve their local greenspace and enhance the quality of their environment.

The 2013/2014 fund aimed to increase use of and foster community pride in local greenspaces and was directed at ventures which benefited children and young people under 16 years old, or which involved this age group in the project.

Keith Geddes, chair of CSGN Trust, said: “MCCI’s new learning garden is a fantastic example of a project which has undertaken improvements to promote outdoor learning and natural play for children and young people.

“Small-scale local initiatives are instrumental in achieving our goal of creating a high-quality green network across central Scotland to improve the quality of life for local communities.”