Over a series of workshops, residents shared their insights, aspirations and hopes for their neighbourhood. Together with the team they designed 16 potential projects to improve the movement of water, biodiversity, and amenity value of parts of the estate.
The Greenhills community eventually selected The Paradise Garden to be developed in a neglected part of the estate which has the potential to become a haven for wildlife, nature and the residents.
Landscape Architect Roisin Byrne worked with the Ripple team and the residents to develop the design which includes raised vegetable beds, a mini orchard of heritage apple trees, seating, native pollinator plants, and a tree nursery. Water will be gathered and directed into a rain garden. This slows the flow of heavy rain, and allows rain tolerant planting to absorb some of the water.
During the year connections were made between the Greenhills residents and the Karen Community Garden in Ballina, who shared their knowledge, experience and plants with the core group who will care for the Paradise Garden.
Ecologist Martin McGarrigle also led a workshop looking at water health of the River Brusna, which runs alongside the estate. Gratifyingly eels, shrimps and many more creatures were found to be thriving in the river.
The project concluded by mapping the Ripple Effect. This occurs when a community is empowered to make positive changes in response to changing climate. The benefits of the project will ripple outwards, creating connections, and generating other actions that encourage everyone to champion for biodiversity and climate-resilient shared places.
The Ripple Team would like to thank the residents of Greenhills Estate in Ballina for their hospitality, energy, and generous input throughout the year. Thanks too, to Mayo County Council for their support and to Saint Muredach’s Boys Secondary School for the invaluable use of their Innovation Hub as well as Kilcross Construction and Shaw’s Nursery who worked tirelessly to build this beautiful garden.