The Friends of the War Memorial Park (FWMP) Group was set up in 2006, with the aim of promoting, developing and maintaining the War Memorial Park for the people of Coventry. Since then it has been involved in many areas of maintaining and improving the park.
One major achievement was getting a £2.8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery. This has paid for improvements in many areas of the park, including around the Monument and the new Visitors Centre.
Another grant from the Changing Spaces programme of the Big Lottery gave the Friends £50,000 to improve the children's play area for under eights. The play area for older children has also had improvements thanks to cash from the Lottery and Council.
The Friends have helped plant snowdrops and crocuses, and the raised beds in the German Garden. The Friends have also been involved in clearing undergrowth to reveal the outline of the entrance to the air raid shelter, and have developed a History Trail. They have also helped with tree labelling, and creating a Tree Trail.
Earlier this year the Friends joined the Council for the Rose Garden project. This circular bed between the Leamington Road entrance and the Monument, has been improved and replanted, mainly through donations made by the public in memory of loved ones.
The Friends work closely with the Council on all areas of the use and development of the Park. They are currently researching a gym trail and distance markers for fitness activities. They are also looking at ways of developing the North Pavilion near Earlsdon Avenue South, and have been involved with the recent application for Green Flag status. The Friends host a stall at Earlsdon Festival each year, and organise regular events for dog owners and other users of the park, as well as the annual Carol Concert.
The Friends are always looking for more members to help them protect and shape the future of the park so it can be enjoyed by all. They meet monthly in the Visitor Centre during the summer, and every two months during the winter.
For the next meeting date, or for more information about joining the Friends, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 024 7667 6368.