Make A Change, Help The Planet: Community Gardens

What can we do to help the climate crisis and the planet? GCN gives examples of achievable things that can have huge knock-on effects, like community gardens.

A group of people posing together in Mud Island - one of the community gardens in Dublin city centre

While the fight against climate change can seem overwhelming, making a relatively small change in your life can have an effect. GCN speaks to people who give examples of achievable changes we can make in order to make our planet a better place. In this article, we talk about community gardens.

Community gardens are a terrific way to build up those essential green spaces. Maeve Foreman is one of the founding members of the wonderfully titled Mud Island – a community garden in Dublin’s north inner city.

There’s a committee of 15 people who coordinate the running of the garden and they are always looking for green-fingered folk to get involved.

“Mud Island is in the north inner city on the North Strand. The site is owned by Dublin City Council, they’d demolished a block of flats there and it was originally zoned for social housing but it had been left derelict for years.

“Eventually a group of local people got together in 2009 and it took two years campaigning to get the Council to give us a licence to build a community garden on the site.

“It’s entirely volunteer-led and we operate by consensus. We work the garden collectively and it has really grown – we’ve built a beautiful garden with raised beds and sitting areas, we’ve got a pizza oven and a barbeque area and a social area we call the Hacienda with two stages where we hold regular events. During the recent Five Lamps Festival, we had musical acts, an arts and crafts spot, a cafe, and a couple of hundred people coming through the garden enjoying the space.

“What initially started off as a project about growing our own food and an example of environmental sustainability and biodiversity, has had the knock-on effect of creating a really inclusive social and recreational green space.

“We’re members of Dublin Community Growers, it’s about 40 community gardens throughout the whole Dublin area, and they are a member of Community Gardens in Ireland. There’s never enough people to do the work involved so we’re always open to new members. We don’t turn people away.”

If people you want to involved in community gardens anywhere in Ireland, check out www.cgireland.org.

You can learn more about how we can all make a difference at our event ‘Mayday: The Fight To Save Our World’. The event will be an evening of information, conversation and action – a collaboration between GCN and Extinction Rebellion Ireland will take place in Project Arts Centre, Dublin on May 1.

Tickets for the event are available here.

This story originally appeared on GCN’s May 2019 issue. Read the full issue here.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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