BROOKE Park will be the place to be this month as the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle invites local children along for some family fun with a whole host of activities on the menu.
The ‘Spring Open Day’ is taking place at Brooke Park on Saturday 23rd March from 12 noon – 4pm. There will also be an opening of the ‘Gate Lodge Exhibition’ displaying the history of the park to the public.
Brooke Park was reopened to the public in September 2016 following an extensive £5.6m regeneration of this historic landscape.
The project was funded by Council, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Department for Communities (DfC) and has been a resounding success with the public to date.
The ‘Spring Open Day’ will be a celebration and appreciation of Brooke Park which has provided an invaluable green space for recreational and leisure activities since 1901 – and will include fun wildlife workshops, mucky fingers, tepees, arts and crafts, storytelling and much more!
Speaking at the launch event, Mayor Boyle said he was delighted to be hosting the ‘Spring Open Day’ in the beautiful grounds of the recently regenerated park.
“Brooke Park has undergone a major transformation recently and I can think of no better location for a family fun day,” he said.
“I’d like to invite as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the family-friendly activities.
“The transformation of the park into a state of the art facility for leisure, play and relaxation has enriched the lives of so many people by providing a hub for social and leisure activity.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Communities without whose financial support this project wouldn’t have been possible.”
Anna Carragher, Chair of the NI Committee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “We’re delighted to see the launch of the ‘Spring Open Day’ and to attend the opening of the ‘Gate Lodge Exhibition’ at Brooke Park to the public.
“Since its reopening, the park has been enjoyed by people of all ages, offering a place to socialise, play, relax and unwind.
“We were delighted to have been able to use National Lottery player’s money to help bring this historic park back to life via this fabulous project.
“We are so pleased to see so many people using the restored park, getting out in the fresh air and reconnecting with nature”
Paul McNaught of the Department for Communities added: “I have no doubts that this event will be a fantastic day out for the whole family to enjoy.
“Brooke Park has been a great success and the Department is delighted to have contributed to its regeneration.”
In keeping with Council’s aim to create a zero waste Council area, there will also be a number of fun activities to raise awareness about protecting and enhancing the environment.
Parks Manager Emma Barron said the ‘Spring Open Day’ is a great opportunity for children and parents to find out how they can make a difference.
“Throughout the day we will providing a range of environmental activities for children, including badge making, building bird boxes, environmental art and planting seeds and plants to take home” she said.
“Indeed, the ‘Spring Open Day’ will be a great way of promoting Brooke Park’s natural environment.
“It will also help children and parents develop a better understanding and appreciation of the history of the park, its importance in terms of wildlife and environment, and the positive role they can play in safeguarding its future for generations to come.”