The Community Garden Network becomes Community Gardens Ireland
Dee Sewell, Chairperson of the Community Garden Network announced at a recent garden party in the Arus na Uachtaráinna that was held to acknowledge individuals and organisations working to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, that the organisation would officially be undergoing a name change to Community Gardens Ireland, abbreviated to CG Ireland with effect from 1st July 2016.
Dee explained that the new name better reflects the evolving focus of the organisation and its future direction and the chosen name was the most popular of several suggested, publicly shared for consideration and agreed among the team members.
“We are very excited about the name change and the direction our voluntary organisation is now heading. It has helped us focus on our national identity and the growing popularity of social community gardens in Ireland and Northern Ireland. As a result the coordinating team has spent the last few months working on our strategic framework which we are also happy to unveil on the Welcome page of our website.
Our vision is that social community garden spaces are created in every village, town and city in Ireland and Northern Ireland, creating opportunities to empower local communities and provide outdoor environmental places of education where people of all ages, genders, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds can learn about gardening, food growing and sovereignty, the environment, biodiversity, climate change, sustainability, community resilience, as well as about the positive mental implications and physical health benefits of being outside in nature and being sociable around food.
Our mission is to work with all other government and non-government agencies across the island supporting and establishing community gardens, individually and jointly promoting nature and the environment, sustainability, food education and food health as well as the social benefits of community gardening to encourage positive social change and inclusion in all its forms.
We recognise that community gardens have a valuable part to play in helping communities across Ireland learn about food, nature and the environment. CG Ireland will therefore:
- actively collaborate with other organisations to encourage positive social change;
- advocate inclusion in all its forms as well as environmental, food, health and dietary awareness;
- encourage all members of community gardens to follow organic principles and protect biodiversity, promoting good environmental practice and awareness.”
About Community Gardens Ireland
CG Ireland was created in the Autumn of 2010 as community gardens began to grow in popularity and it became apparent that there was a need for an independent national organisation that links and shares knowledge and information collected by all individuals, groups and agencies across the island.
Apart from the online support offered connecting gardens via a forum and website, newsletters and social media, get together and workshops are held in different towns and village two or three times a year where all community gardeners from across the island are invited and welcome. Community Gardeners have so far met in thirteen locations, from as far afield as Derry and Belfast, Galway, Cork, Dublin, Waterford and Leitrim and apart from the benefits of community gardeners meeting and networking, community gardeners and facilitators have learnt about topics from conflict management to seeds and seed saving.
CG Ireland have identified and begun mapping over 140 public community gardens in Ireland and are encouraging the creation of county community garden networks that will link in to CG Ireland, allowing them to offer a lot more support to them as funding allows.
CG Ireland have presented two postcard gardens at Bloom Garden and Food Festival and coordinated a pop-up community garden in Global Green at 2015 Electric Picnic. They are currently coordinating and designing another pop up garden for this year’s music and arts festival.
CG Ireland will be holding an AGM at Carraig Dulra in Wicklow on Sunday, 2nd October 2016 and workshops on Saturday, 1st October 2016. Sign up for the newsletter for more information.