As part of an ambitious biodiversity plan, Croom Community Development Association has launched it's new native Irish Tree Trail in the centre of the village. The trail is located at Croom Town Park which includes 11 acres of parkland which has been developed by Croom Community Development Association over the years. The park is bordered by the River Maigue on one side and the town on the other.
The park is also home to a modern playground, a fantastic amenity for families from Croom and across the County. Croom Town Park has an array of adult fitness machines dotted across the lower meadow, and the park is enjoyed by “athletes” taking fast paced exercise and those who enjoy a leisurely stroll.
The Park has traditionally been the site of a holy well in what was then known as the Well Meadow. The centre of the park features a Mass rock and Mass is celebrated there, annually on August 15th.
In 2022, Croom Community Development Association completed a biodiversity plan for Croom Town Park and one of the suggestions made by the ecologist was to improve the biodiversity paths for important insects and small animal populations.
Community Foundation Ireland, which assisted with a grant for the biodiversity plan, subsequently promoted a grant under the AXA Parks initiative to fund investment in native trees for Croom Town Park. The investment in trees saw the Rowan Path broadened to create a second layer of trees, giving the insect and bird population more cover for them to move across the park. Similarly, there was further investment in Silver Birch and Scots Pine along the lower meadow. The native trees planted were enhanced by the introduction of Alder at the Mass Rock - Alder was the one native tree missing from the suite of native trees in the park.
David Hurley, chair of Croom Community Development Association, commented: “The investment by AXA through their AXA Parks grant, which is facilitated by Community Foundation Ireland, is not only an investment in biodiversity, but an endowment for the community of Croom. The planting of trees ensures this green heartland in the centre of Croom for generations to come, enriching the park and enhancing the lives of those who come to work, live and play in Croom.”
Clodagh Ryan, Branch Manager of AXA in Limerick added: “AXA are delighted to work with
Croom Community Development Association to enhance Croom Town Park. AXA Parks initiative is to support sustainable, community-led projects creating or improving green spaces. Croom Town Park is a very worthy recipient and AXA are delighted to be able to assist with the works carried out to enhance Croom Town Park and to educate our younger population about our native trees”
Mr Hurley also commented on the new addition to Croom Community Development Association’s website https://www.cromadh.com/native-irish-tree-trail.html “Croom Community Development Association is delighted to launch our new Tree Trail, which highlights native Irish Trees. This is an asset for outdoor nature classrooms, where children can learn to identify trees and understand their importance as homes to insects and birds, providing food for animals, and creating an atmosphere for us all to live and thrive. Croom Community Development Association continues to enhance Croom Town Park for all and this summer kept a much larger wildflower meadow to enhance the biodiversity of the park.”
Located in the centre of the village, Croom Town Park has lots of parking for visitors and the addition of Aubergine Restaurant, serving food throughout the day, seven days a week, makes it an ideal venue for a family day out.
The Tree Trail map can be found at https://www.cromadh.com/native-irish-tree-trail.html