Project: Plastic waste reduction
CITY FOREST - PALERMO
The City Forest, the idea of the Treasurer and Environmental Officer, Paolo Coniglio-Pringle, and Safeguarding Officer, Deborah Halliday, both inspired by David Attenborough’s latest documentary film “A Life on Our Planet” and by the Natural History Museum’s project to transform five-acre gardens into an exemplar of urban wildlife, is a bio diversity project envisaged to promote sustainability and create a microcosm heaven in town.
Inviting and encouraging inner city flora and fauna to find an oasis, the City Forest is today a place for small birds to come drink, feed and nest in the previously semi-abandoned flower bed and over pruned trees that will now be encouraged to fill out more naturally. It is also hoped that the solitary “bee hotel” will become fully booked and that the bat box will soon be home to a brood of pups, as well as providing a quiet spot for meditation and prayer.
The small congregation showed immediately their enthusiasm for the project by generously donating, covering the initial cost of buying the plants and accessories within two weeks of its announcement. The plants had to be carefully chosen to suit the shady, limited plot and shallow soil, as well as to attract pollinators; to this has been added a small gazebo, which soon will be covered by two climbing hydrangeas, a bird bath, nesting baskets, feeders, a solitary bee hotel and a bat nesting box. Other plants include azalea, camellia, westringea, lorpetalum, chamaedorea, and a variety of ferns. All the accessories are made of natural material and no item with plastic was installed.
An unexpected spin-off and domino effect were that neighbours overlooking the little garden are now inspired and motivated in doing the same either on a smaller scale on their balconies, or larger scale at their country homes. Several members of the congregation are also carrying the idea into their gardens and onto their terraces. The notion is that one does not need to create a wild flower meadow; a windowsill, a doorstep, a balcony or a terrace is space enough to have plants that will attract butterflies and bees, and at the same time clean the air and give a sense of wellbeing. It is hoped the reader is now inspired and motivated too, the congregation at Holy Cross Palermo wishes to see several other city forests developed in church yards across the Diocese in Europe and is happy to share ideas.
The City Forest, complete with a commemoration plaque, will be augurated on Sunday, 18th of April 2021 in conjunction with Earth Day, the following Thursday, 22nd of April. You can donate to our JustGiving page at the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cityforestpmo?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraising&utm_content=cityforestpmo&utm_campaign=pfp-email&utm_term=455df6740f3f432699540082211bfa53. If you donate it is vital that you indicate the intended beneficiary chaplaincy as “City Forest Holy Cross Palermo”. Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to The Diocese in Europe (Church of England), so it's the most efficient way to give - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Donations will help Holy Cross Church Palermo promote the City Forest concept to increase awareness on “building nature rather than destroying it”, and funds will be used to buy on a regular basis the necessary bird food and new plants which will be given to the local community and visitors.
For further information you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Paolo Coniglio-Pringle & Deborah Halliday, Treasurer and SafeGuarding Officer at Holy Cross Church Palermo, Sicily, Italy.