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In Dublin’s Liberties, community horticulture succeeds

Workday volunteers clear the new potato bed at Bridgefoot Street Community Garden. Photo: Robert Moss
Workday volunteers clear the new potato bed at Bridgefoot Street Community Garden. Photo: Robert Moss

Bridgefoot Street community garden came joint-second in the Get Ireland Growing Awards on Monday - celebrating this community garden for the work it does in encouraging community based activity and involvement in horticulture.

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12 March 2018 | 1

Bridgefoot Street Community Garden came joint-second at the Get Ireland Growing Awards which were broadcasted on RTÉ 1’s The Today Show, on Monday.

The Get Ireland Growing Awards, in association with Grow it Yourself and Energia, seeks to encourage community based groups around Ireland to engage in horticulture and food growing activities.

2016-10-08 15.06.21

An Taisce Green Communities Wildflower and Pollinator Workshop at Bridgefoot Street Community Garden. Photo: Robert Moss.

Bridgefoot Street Community Garden, which describes itself as a community garden that grows an urban oasis within a concrete jungle, is used by more than 20 different community groups, businesses, and local services, as it provides a unique open space within the Liberties, Dublin 8, for horticultural activity.

Richard Taplin from the Dublin Mens Shed Group, operating from Bridgefoot Street Community Garden, said that “the prize money is an important step in realising the goal of setting up a poly-tunnel and providing horticultural training to homeless and other disadvantaged residents within Dublin City.

Bridgefoot Street Community Gardeners Robert Moss and Richard Taplin brave the hail showers at lunch time to meet with Lisa from the Guinness Enterprise Centre. Photo: Lisa Doyle.

Bridgefoot Street Community Gardeners Robert Moss and Richard Taplin brave the hail showers at lunch time to meet with Lisa from the Guinness Enterprise Centre. Photo: Lisa Doyle.

“Our ultimate aim is to set up a community enterprise initiative that grows local organic vegetables for local shops, markets, cafes and restaurants. There is a market for healthy locally grown produce, and it will be wonderful if those who live in Dublin, often without access to a garden of their own, can play a role in delivering this valuable service to our city”.

At the awards all three community projects were commended as future role models for community food growing in Ireland.

Many groups and organisations, such as local schools, do not have access to their own green areas, and often don’t have the resources to maintain them. As such, Bridgefoot Street Community Garden is more than the sum of its parts for South Central Dublin.

A large number of groups have made great use of the garden and been a part of its evolution over the years, including:

  • Dublin Mens Shed Group
  • Diageo
  • We Share Dublin
  • Young Friends of the Earth
  • The Robert Emmett Community Development Project After School Club
  • Sundial House
  • Saint Audoens National School
  • Google
  • Navan Road Scouts Troop
  • Work Day
  • Mendicity Kids Club
  • An Taisce Environmental Education
  • Young Friends of the Earth
  • Forest Friends.ie
  • Dublin GIY
  • Dublin City Public Participation Network (PPN)
  • National Biodiversity Data Centre
  • Dublin Community Environmental Network
  • Master Composters Dublin
  • Street Feast

Bridgefoot Street Community Garden has also hosted visitors from all across Europe, and America, and as far away as New Zealand, who often drop into the garden while visiting the areas other attractions.

The new Spider Bug Hotel/Art Installation created by Eileen from the National College of Art and Design. Photo: Robert Moss.

The new Spider Bug Hotel/Art Installation created by Eileen from the National College of Art and Design. Photo: Robert Moss.

It’s clear that the garden has evolved far beyond being a mere allotment site or green space. It is now a centre of community, a place where people and nature connect and thrive.

Bridgefoot Street Community Garden is the only amenity in this part of town in terms of a freely accessible site where people can regularly engage in outdoor activity if they don’t own their own garden or have access to a private allotment.

The garden has experienced a burst of creativity with musical and artistic contribution. In many ways the garden has informally provided services which have experienced cuts during recession times, such as mental health and rehabilitation.

The overall winner was Edible Landscape Project in Westport.

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One Response to In Dublin’s Liberties, community horticulture succeeds

  1. Let's get Ireland Growing says:

    This is an amazing achievement.
    And the success is totally due to our amazing volunteers who come and go, but are our backbone.
    Once you dig in your in for life, it’s a lifestyle choice, and change. 😂

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