Thousands of crocus bulbs planted in city park

Thousands of bulbs were planted in a city park today (Friday 16 Sept) by City Council staff, Rotarians, a Friends group, dozens of schoolchildren and some extra volunteers, to help promote the fight to eradicate polio.

The 50 schoolchildren from P6 at Cornhill School and their teachers took part in the event at Wesburn Road with the Friends of Victoria and Westburn Parks organising the event.

The 10,000 giant purple crocus bulbs were planted on behalf of the Aberdeen Rotarians group, which is promoting its international "Polio Plus "campaign to eradicate polio by 2019.

Aberdeen City Council Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “Along with providing a splash of spring-time colour, the purple crocuses will be a lasting reminder why the Rotarians’ campaign to eradicate polio is so important.

“It is always good to see people in a community come together and help make their local green spaces or parks even more beautiful than they are already, and I’m sure the extra 10,000 flowers will look stunning.”

Poliomyelitis or polio is very infectious viral disease that used to kill and paralyse children in Britain up to the middle of the last century, and still kills and paralyses children in developing countries. There is no cure, but, thanks to the Rotarian campaign and others, there were fewer than 100 cases in 2015.

Rotarians raise money for the vaccines to prevent polio and also to provide the staff who give them to children in developing countries. The youngsters’ little finger is covered in purple ink to show that they have been vaccinated, hence the Rotary purple crocus campaign.

Peter Stephen, chairman of Friends of Victoria and Westburn Parks, said: “When our 10,000 bulbs bloom in Spring 2017 beside the pond, we will be reminded of the importance of the need to continue to work hard to prevent the deaths and disabling of all children worldwide by polio, and the need to continue to raise funds to fight the disease.”

Rob Hughes, vice president of St Machar Rotary Club, said: “We really pleased to be working with the Council, the Friends and Cornhill School for this as it’s really good to be involved in different community projects.”