Swords Tidy Towns members are very much involved in their local community and are activily participating in many different local events, as well as organising some events and activities of their own. Our active involvement serves many purposes including increased visibility of Swords Tidy Towns, recruitment of new members, educating and raising awareness, networking, supporting local communities, gaining knowledge and improving our skills in new areas and activities. Below are some of those events from the last couple of years.
‘Woodlands, Nature and People‘ event
Swords Woodland Association kindly extended an invitation to STT members to attend their event called “Woodlands, Nature and People”. This was held in the Atrium in Fingal County Hall on Friday morning, September 23, from 10 am until 1 pm.
Four members of STT and a representative from the Broadmeadow Community Garden arrived to find the Atrium filled with luscious apple trees, and the chatter of excited students of primary and secondary school ages and their teachers.
Other adult guests included Mayor of Fingal Cllr Howard Mahony, Councillors Ann Graves, Ian Carey and Joe Newman.
Councillor Joe Newman opened the programme with a short speech about the importance of maintaining green belts in Fingal and in all built up areas for future generations, in the face of growing demands for housing developments.
Compere for the morning was teacher Ciaran Burke from St Finian’s Community College, Swords. His colleague spoke about the latest area of curriculum for first year secondary students. It aims to develop their link to the natural environment and awareness of their responsibilities as world citizen. One of their students spoke about our responsibility towards third world countries, which contibute least to climate change, yet experience its worst effects
Deirdre McCann, a teacher at Mary Queen of Ireland National School at Rivermeade, gave a wonderful visual presentation featuring aspects of the successful environmental education programme, which has been running at her school for some years. The children can now watch acorns growing in special boxes, presented to them by Swords Woodlands Association. All students are given opportunities for practical hands-on experience. They grow plants in their polytunnel, make compost and learn about sustainable gardening. They’d also taken part in tree planting events with Orla Farrell through her Easie Treesie programme. Orla was present, wearing her special beanie.
In the final section of the programme students were engaged in a range of activities.
Several apple trees were presented to each of the various groups at the close of this very successful event.
Sustainable Gardening Course
Fingal County Council has organised a free 5 session sustainable gardening course held in Swords Applewood.
Our mentor Aoife Munn, lecturer environmentalist and horticulturist welcomed us at the Community Centre and explained the benefits of herbicide and pesticide free gardening.
The importance of companion planting and encouraging beneficial insects as well as wildflowers was covered too.
We had some hands on instruction on making newspaper seedling pots for wildflower seeds, probably a bit late in the year now, but we’ll see how it goes.
The next two sessions were held at the Broadmeadows Community Garden where we could try some of the techniques for planting and pruning ourselves.
About a dozen participants, three or four of whom were Swords Tidy Towns members, took part, and I am sure everyone took some useful ideas away from it.
Pumpkin Carving at the Castle
Some of our Swords Tidy Towns volunteers gave up a few hours of their time to carve out some creepy pumpkin faces in the Castle for the “Halloween Pumpkin Patch” 2021 event at the castle . New skills gained and lots of laughter shared. Thank you to Paul Barnes FCC for the goody bags.
Biodiversity walk with Ballyboughal Hedgerow Society
We were delighted to welcome Ann Lynch from the Ballyboughal Hedgerow Society and their biodiversity course group for their field trip in Swords. Thanks to John Ducie for sharing his knowledge with us. Was really lovely to meet and chat with members from other Tidy Towns groups.
Science Week – Tree Planting
Swords Tidy Towns joined Swords Woodland Association and Easy Treesie organisations together with St. Cronan’s SNS and Broadmeadow Community Garden to plant 1,000 trees for Science Week in November 2019.
Master Composter Training Programme
Our member Ramune Kuzminiene participated in the Master Composter training programme organised by Fingal County Council in conjunction with the Stop Food Waste programme in Skerries during the month of October 2019.
Charity Coffee Morning
Our member Malachy McGee attended a charity Coffee Morning in aid of Snowflakes Autism Support at Colourtrend in Swords in October 2019.
Swords Tidy Towns members enjoyed the Greener Communities Awards night in October 2019. It was an opportunity for us to mingle, and meet and greet our fellow Fingal volunteers.
Collaborating with Fingal Horticultural Society
A few members of Swords Tidy Towns are also members of Fingal Horticultural Society. They participate in many events, talks, conferences and workshops. Our Best Business Frontage and Window Display competition is a joint effort with Fingal Horticultural Society as well. Below are photos from some of those events from different years.
The Launch of Swords Town Park Well
In July 2019 Swords Tidy Towns was invited to the official launch of the new Swords Town Park Well. Our new Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, was in attendence along with other high profile council personnel.
Flavours of Fingal Festival
Our Swords Tidy Towns members Matt Cullen and George Mongey were manning our stall at the Flavours of Fingal Festival in June 2019.
Fingal Public Participation Network AGM
Mary Maxwell, Matt Cullen and Ken Duffy attended the Fingal Public Participation Network AGM in the Carnegie Hotel Swords in November 2017. In the second picture Ken Duffy and George Mongey are attending the same meeting in May 2019.
The Big Hello
As part of the National Community Weekend Fingal Scheme, we opened our lovely garden to the community in May 2019. This could not have happened without the support of the Fingal Local Community Development Committee, Fingal County Council, Fingal PPN and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Tidy Towns Conferences
St. Patrick’s Parade Swords
The happiest of all participations is the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Swords. Have a look at Swords Tidy Towns throughout the years 2015-2019
Biodiversity walk & talk
Swords Tidy Towns organised a biodiversity walk and talk that was held in February 2019.
Swords Tidy Towns organised a pollinator class in February 2018.
Furniture Restoration Class
The furniture restoration class was attended by a few members of Swords Tidy Towns in April 2017.
A very successful composting class was organised by our member George Mongey, which was given by Nuala Madden from the Irish Peatland Conservation in February 2017.