Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys & the Managing Director of SuperValu, Mr. Ian Allen last week launched the 2023 SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition celebrating 65 years of transforming communities.
Since 1958, the competition, which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu, has been a pivotal initiative in bringing communities together and addressing some of the environmental challenges we face in modern society.
2023 marks the 65th anniversary of the competition and is expected to attract one of its highest level of entries to date.
The official launch took place in Trim, County Meath – the winners of the 2022 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.
Speaking in Trim, Minister Humphreys said:
“It gives me great pleasure to be here along the banks of the River Boyne in Trim, Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2022, as we launch the 2023 SuperValu Tidy Towns competition. This year we celebrate 65 years of this fantastic competition, which has become part of the fabric of Irish society.
“The saying ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’, which means unity is our strength, reall sums up what SuperValu Tidy Towns is all about.
“Once again, the focus this year will be on bringing communities and Tidy Towns volunteers of all ages together as we effect real change and make our towns and villages better places to live, work, visit and raise a family.”
Minister Humphreys continued:
“Being part of your local Tidy Towns group is a great way to get involved in community life.
“My department, through the national rural development policy ‘Our Rural Future’, supports vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland.
“I would encourage everyone to reach out to their local group and volunteer, you will be amazed at the benefits to you and your wider community.
“I would also like to thank our partner and sponsor, SuperValu for their continuing support and enthusiasm through their nationwide network of retailers support groups.
“This is SuperValu’s 32nd year of sponsorship of the Tidy Towns Competition and they are championing awareness of the competition especially in areas of biodiversity and sustainable living.”
Also speaking at the launch, Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu, said: “It gives me great pride to launch SuperValu Tidy Towns together with the Department of Rural and Community Development. What makes SuperValu Tidy Towns special is that it truly shows the power of community and how collective small actions can make a big difference toward ensuring our communities are more sustainable places to live, work and play for generations to come.”
“Every year, 29,648 volunteers across 924 committees give over three million hours of their time to SuperValu Tidy Towns – this is a phenomenal effort. We have been heartened by the increased focus on biodiversity and sustainability projects in recent years, as well as the blended energy of youth and gold dust skills of experienced members, which makes up the hundreds of Tidy Towns committees across the country.
“We are thrilled that SuperValu has been chosen to continue our sponsorship of the Tidy Towns competition for the next five years and are very grateful to the Department of Rural and Community Development for this exciting opportunity. We are excited to work with colleagues, friends and neighbours around the country to make our communities a better place. We strongly encourage people to contact their local SuperValu Tidy Towns committee to join the collective efforts being made to build more sustainable communities for all.”
The number of entries is steadily increasing and many new groups are entering the competition for the first time or returning with new enthusiasm and drive to improve their local areas. The Special Awards also continue to bring an added dimension to the completion and again this year we have an impressive array of special awards with some fantastic prizes.
The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s competition is Wednesday, 10th May 2023. Entry forms for the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition are available at www.tidytowns.ie and this information has been emailed to all registered groups.
Entry to the competition will only be accepted by email to the firstname.lastname@example.org address.
Full details of the competition are available on www.tidytowns.ie or www.supervalu.ie
Despite the change in the hour 24 Volunteers and 6 Transition Year students turned up for the weekly litter pick. We managed to cover a large area during the hour. Pat collected bags of litter from several places. Denis was busy with the TY students.
Although Sunday is our main litter pick day, we have several Volunteers out each day during the week.
After the litter pick, 21 Volunteers enjoyed a cuppa and chat in The Plaza. We were delighted to wish one of our Volunteers a happy birthday with some lovely cake.
Fourteen bags of Litter were collected. Also, Pat collected 17 bags of Litter and 1 bag of Plastic.
TRANSITION YEARS’ WORK
Sunday morning Denis worked with the Transition Year students. They collected 15 bags of Grit and Weeds on the road leading up to the original Aldi Store.
SOME OF THE WEEK’S WORK
A further 5 one-ton bags of briars and weeds were removed from the flowerbed beside An Caislean on the Kilumney Road on Monday.
On Tuesday morning Jimmy and the lads removed 2 one-ton bags of cuttings plus 2 plastic bags of weeds from Oaklands. This work was slow and took some time but the results were noticeable.
Work continued with the erection of the new directional posts throughout the Regional Park. Huge thanks to Jack Casey and his team from Cork City Council for their fantastic support.
So much planning goes into the planters. This year our winter planting is looking fabulous and on Sunday there was a beautiful smell in the air from the flowers. As with the summer planters these get plenty of care and attention.
The Grape hyacinth, one of the early pollinators, is in bloom at our Allotment.
SPORTS CAPITAL GRANT SCHEME
This Cork City Council scheme, which is open to local voluntary sporting organisations and clubs, is aimed at providing grant aid to projects that are directly related to enhancing facilities and must be of a capital nature.
A sum of €470,000 has been provided for the Scheme in 2023.
Closing date for receipt of applications is this Friday 31st March 2023.
Sporting clubs and organisations can find further information and apply for a grant online at Sports Capital Grants – Cork City Council and the Submit Portal https://submit.link/1uJ .
For any queries, contact the Sports and Sustainability Section of Cork City Council at email@example.com or call 021-238 9845.
AN INTRODUCTION TO SAVING SEED
Green Spaces for Health presents Bethan Lucas from Robinson’s Chemical Free Vegetable Farm who will talk about the importance of Saving Seeds and simple ways to begin.
Come join in at Hollyhill Library on Saturday the 1 of April from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm.
SOUTH PARISH LEARNING EXPO
Come along and find out about the South Parish Learning Neighbourhood, showcasing what area has to offer. The expo will highlight a range of community and education organisations that are active in the area. The expo will provide people with the opportunity to find out about local sports, music, adult education and more.
The library will have a gazebo in action on Saturday so pop along to view what is going on with your library service.
Come along Elizabeth Fort on Barrack Street this Saturday the 1 of April.
CORK WORLD BOOK FESTIVAL
The Cork World Book Festival is back for 2023, and will welcome Irish and international writers to Cork for an extravaganza of books and writing this April!
From Tuesday the 18 of April to Sunday 23 April 2023 a host of renowned and upcoming authors will descend on Cork City.
Check out the events organised for you by searching: www.CorkWorldBookfest.com
COMMUNITY CLIMATE CHALLENGE
All Tidy Towns groups are invited to upcoming community climate challenge and info sessions.
The free two-week Community Climate Challenge funded by Irish Aid, engages groups to reduce their Co2 emissions in a positive and fun way, using the app Ducky.
More information about the Climate Heroes competition is available via www.climateheroes.ie
HEDGEHOG NEST BOXES
Rush is one of only two places in Ireland to have a hedgehog sanctuary. As such, Rush Tidy Towns have always had a natural inquisitiveness around hedgehogs. Their ability to adapt and survive is second to none. Unbelievably these little mammals first evolved roughly 15 million years ago!
Showing such strength in character the Rush biodiversity team wanted to help restore the dwindling population in their local area.
They felt it fitting to do a project linked to Hedgehogs, so they set about locating areas where hedgehog already exist around the town, and then building nest boxes to help them just before the breeding season commences.
The project was initiated by Rush Tidy Towns Biodiversity Officer Sarah Lowndes. Volunteer Ken Goslin, a previous Volunteer of the Year winner set his sights on the task of creating seven nest boxes with the finest timber and a design and finish Dermot Bannon would be proud of. Beautifully handcrafted the nest boxes were weather proofed, treated and lined with mud and leaves to encourage usage. On the advice of Rush based Dublin Hedgehog Rescue they set about placing them in a mix of private and public undisclosed locations known to have visitors of the prickly variety. Sarah and Ken said the experience was intriguing knowing they were giving the local hedgehogs a helping hand before they wake from hibernation.
Rush Tidy Towns ask the public, if they do happen to come across a box, to leave it be and allow the boxes to remain as a safe habitat. Sarah commented that it may take the Hedgehogs a couple of years to move in, but fingers crossed they are on the right road, helping to restore the numbers of their spikey little friends. Sarah added that if the project proves a success, they plan to expand on it.
Thanks to Brendan for sharing this and to Sarah for the vision and of course to Ken on his great work in crafting the boxes, great team effort indeed.