June 2020 newsletter

Greetings to one and all – and a special welcome to all our new members! We hope that you have all been enjoying the outdoors, especially the park, during the lockdown period. The prolonged sunny spell meant that the roses have been spectacular and lots of the plants are springing back into action, shaking off the effects of flooding.

Following advice and risk assessment by the council team, the Friends have finally been able to re-start some of our volunteering on-site. We’re starting with gardening and litter-picking, both of which can be run safely and effectively, with a bit of ingenuity and attention to detail. For the moment, we are working with the existing gardening and litter-picking teams, to assess how it works within the new restrictions. If you would like to be included in this volunteering in the near future, email us on volunteering@rowntreepark.org.uk, and we will include you on our waiting list, for when we widen participation. 

 The Friends’ next meeting is scheduled for June 25th at 7pm; we can’t meet in person, but we will have an informal online catch-up via Zoom, and all members are welcome to join the meeting and find out what is going on. If you’d like to join the meeting, please email info@rowntreepark.org.uk (by 12pm on the 25th) and we will send the link later that day!
 Rainbows for Rowntree Park
Last call is June 30th for contributions towards this project to make up a rainbow display to show our thanks to the NHS, keyworkers and everyone who has supported others during recent months. 

The request is for small, single-colour crafted pieces, approximately 6″ in size, and in any design – maybe flowers, a crochet square or woven threads. The pieces will be grouped by colour and used to create in a rainbow arrangement on the tennis court fencing. Complete small rainbows are also very welcome, and will be used to decorate the pergolas.  The display will be in place in time for Rowntree Park’s 99th Birthday on July 16th.

Your ‘makes’ can be left in a lidded box at 118 Bishopthorpe Road, by the end of June. Balls of yarn also available, at same location. Any questions, please email gardening@rowntreepark.org.uk

A huge thank you to the Friends of Rowntree Park craft group, Hippystitch and all the other talented individuals from across York who have contributed to this project. 

Tree Trail

We are very pleased to announce that we have two new Tree Trails for Rowntree Park – a children’s trail and an adult’s trail (with alternative routes for wheelchairs/pushchairs included). Rowntree Park has a variety of amazing trees and four of our Young Friends of Rowntree Park have planned the trails and chosen local artists to be involved.  We know many people will enjoy these trails. Printed Trail sheets will be available, for a “no-contact” pick up, from a location near the park, in the next week.  Please email for details of where to collect from (membership@rowntreepark.org.uk): a £1 donation is appreciated.  Please email or Facebook message for details (membership@rowntreepark.org.uk)

We hope to also be able to get the trails online in the near future. A huge thank you to our two local artists, Ellie and Sarah, for giving their time and skill so freely. Please check out their other work and online stores using the links below:
Ellie at Nutkin Avenue –https://www.instagram.com/nutkinavenue
Sarah at Studio Third Two  – https://www.instagram.com/studio_thirtytwo/?hl=en

Funding, grants and projects!
The Friends of Rowntree Park is a charity and we raise most of our income through membership and the events we run (in normal times!) We have also been fortunate to apply and receive funding from a variety of sources over the last couple of years.  Just before lockdown, we were awarded a grant from ‘Betty’s’ for work on our Sensory/Native pollinator Garden and we hope to be able to start this work in the Autumn. We were also awarded 4 days of volunteer support from the annual ‘Big Community Challenge’ run by York Cares. The Challenge was due to start in June but has been postponed, probably until 2021; when it happens, it will focus on improving the Forest School and beck area. 

The Friends of Rowntree Park trustees look after the finances and budget, and make sure the money that we raise and obtain is spent correctly, in line with the charity’s aims (in discussion with committee members).  The budget is set annually based on our income, and reviewed regularly.  Trustees take into consideration our areas of agreed responsibility with York City Council, plus activities and projects that volunteers would like to run to improve and enhance the park.   You can read more about our areas of responsibility and current planned projects on our website here.

Besides the regular expenses, the Friends have also set aside a ‘Projects’ budget and we welcome suggestions from members for ideas on projects they’d like to run/be involved with.  As 2020 has been a ‘different year’ (to put it mildly), there may be some changes to our original plans, but the plans give a general idea of our objectives and aims.  You can access them here

We are a very small group of committee members and always welcome people interested in becoming more involved in any aspect of the park or helping with decision-making!
Other updates
The car park, toilets and basketball courts in Rowntree Park are now open. The playparks and skatepark remain closed. The tennis courts can be booked via Rowntree Park tennis club. The cafe aims to reopen in July as a ‘takeaway only’ but please follow their Facebook page for updates. Friends of Rowntree Park events and activities are on hold until we get more updates from the government and council as to what is and isn’t allowed. Please keep an eye on our social media for regular updates.

There have been a few issues with anti-social behaviour and litter over the last few weeks as lockdown eased. Please continue to report these to 101 or the council (depending on what); we report things ourselves, but having other people also report issues is very helpful. A big thank you to the community who have really helped look out for one another, and the park, during these strange few months. As always, a huge thank you for our small group of dedicated volunteers and all our supporters (you!)
Images: FRP Instagram showing the park in it’s glory – fabulous volunteer gardener work in the rose pergola area recently. HippyStitch blog,.Nutkin Avenue and Studio Thirty Two. Diane a fabulous volunteer gardener.
Finally….  a special tree that ends our tree trail – what is through that tree curtain and where is it?

Copyright © Friends of Rowntree Park 2019
Thank you for supporting our volunteers’ work in the park!

Our mailing address is:
c/o 16 Norfolk Street
YO23 1JY

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