As community gardens have grown in popularity, so too has the need for a national organisation that links and shares knowledge and information collected by all the individuals, groups and agencies working with them.
The idea to connect community gardeners around the island of Ireland was first muted at the GIY Harvest Festival in Waterford in 2011 and as a result of all the positive feedback, the inaugural meeting took place at The Greenhouse in Dublin in November of the same year, attracting over 50 people from various locations around Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Two more facilitated meetings took place and Community Gardens Ireland’s forum finally went live in 2012. It’s aim to support and promote community gardens in Ireland and Northern Ireland and the network has grown from strength to strength. The forum site gives a virtual connection for community gardeners, providing support and promotion, sharing resources and learning and exchanging ideas. We also have a Facebook Group, Facebook page and twitter account.
Network meetings take place in venues around the island of Ireland approximately every four months and we always aim to include a community garden visit. We have met in over ten locations across the country from Derry to Waterford, Galway to Kilkenny, offering a workshop element into the events, making them a full day of learning and friendship, networking and information.
After public and committee consultation in June 2016 we changed our name from the Community Garden Network to Community Gardens Ireland to reflect our new vision and aims.
CG Ireland is operated on a voluntary basis and is currently a free resource for community gardeners everywhere.