JFK Arboretum and Memorial Park to Celebrate National Heritage Week with Range of Free Activities

12 August 19

Free entry to the JFK Memorial Park and Arboretum for National Heritage Week from Saturday 17th August to Sunday 25th August 2019

JFK Arboretum and Memorial Park at New Ross will celebrate National Heritage Week 2019 with a range of exciting, free activities. National Heritage Week, which runs from the 17th to 25th of August, is a celebration of Ireland's built, natural and cultural heritage and aims to generate awareness, appreciation and preservation of Ireland’s wonderful resources.

This action-packed week is coordinated by the Heritage Council and is now one of Ireland’s largest cultural events. This year some half a million people are expected to attend some 2,200 events across the country.

The chosen theme for this year’s Heritage Week is the celebration of Pastimes and Past Times and to mark National Heritage Weekend, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has organised a wide range of events across OPW sites, with something for absolutely everyone.

At the JFK Arboretum and Memorial Park the OPW will hold the following events:

  • Celtic Tree Trail, Sat 17th August: Trees had an important status in Celtic Irish mythology. Travel back in time, join one of our guides, and learn about the importance this ancient culture placed on our native tree flora by exploring our native tree collection. (Tour takes approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Clever Trees, Tues 20th August: From prehistoric survival strategies to underground communication, just how clever are trees? Take a guided tour with one of our guides and learn more about our clever tree collection! (Tour takes approximately 1.5 hours)
  • Discovery Trail, Wednesday 21st August: Intrepid explorers will discover lots about the arboretum with this free adventure. Pick up your free trail map at the Visitor Centre. Suitable outdoor clothing/footwear advised. Suited to Families/Children.
  • The Ancient Craft of Irish Knitwear, Wednesday 21st August, 10am – 5pm: Demonstration of Heritage Knitting techniques by Mary Redmond. Knitting display and demonstration. Suited to Families/Children. Free Event. No booking necessary. This event will take place in the Visitor Centre.
  • Walking Tour-Cormac Downey, Friday 23rd August, 12 noon: Cormac Downey, OPW Tree Officer and Arboriculturist will lead a walking tour in the arboretum, highlighting some of the magnificent trees in the collection.
  • Bat Walk, Friday 23rd August, 8pm to 9.30pm: Join us for a guided bat walk to seek out one of our most mysterious Irish mammals, the Bat. Harm Deenen, Field Ecologist will lead this walk and be on hand with bat detectors, to help find bats in the arboretum and woods of the JFK Arboretum.
  • Craft Fair, Sunday 25th August, 12- 5pm: Our popular Craft Fair returns this year with a wide variety of craft products ranging from pottery, handcrafted jewellery, glass art, heirloom quilts, handmade timber products, wood-turned creations, aromatic skincare, handmade knitwear, photographic prints, paintings and illustrations to name a few.
  • Pastimes-Past Times, Sun 25th August, 12noon: Join Kevin Naughton, Foreman/Head Gardener for a walking tour and hear about the uses of trees in times past and what might be of use in ‘time’ in the future! (duration 1-1.5hrs)

For more information on all of these events and on all thing’s heritage week go to www.heritageweek.ie or contact OPW Client Services and Communications at 01 647 6106 or opwcsc@opw.ie.

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Note to editors

Dedicated to the memory of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, President of the United States from 1960 to 1963, the Arboretum is a plant collection of international standing. It covers 252 hectares (623 acres) on the southern slopes and summit of Slievecoiltia. It contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, planted in botanical sequence. There are 200 forest plots grouped by continent. Special features include an Ericaceous Garden, (with 500 different rhododendrons, and many varieties of azaleas and heathers), dwarf conifers, hedges, ground covers and climbing plants. The lake is the most popular part of the Arboretum and is a haven for waterfowl. A road provides access to the summit at 271m from which there are panoramic views. A Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and audio-visual show. Access for people with disabilities.