By Amy Rohu
Dún Laoghaire Tidy Towns, which was re-established last year, has seen numbers grow exponentially and with particular interest from children, now has formed a junior club.
Initially set up by a small band of volunteers, the group – now numbering 60 – meets every Saturday to litter pick and work on their various projects alongside Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council.
Volunteer Máire Ui Scolai explained: “Many biodiversity, green and heritage projects were born in the past year such as the planting of the Old Carnegie Library with pollinator friendly plants as well as spring and autumn bulbs.
“Other projects include the maintenance of the Lavender Beds on Georges Street, the wild flower meadow on Clarence St, planting around the Bell Tower of St.Michael’s church and giving Haigh Terrace a bright spring look.”
She continued: “Bug Hotels will soon be seen in various parts of the town, thanks to close work with DLRCOCO. There are many more ambitious projects in the planning.”
The Comeau family, a multicultural family from Canada and Guatemala, who have been in Ireland for two years, got involved with the group in October 2020 and said: “we try not to miss a Saturday”. Their son Gabriel (8), was the one who asked to be involved after seeing volunteers one afternoon in Dún Laoghaire.
Late last year after the group continued to attract more families and children, a junior club was set up, with Gabriel appointed as their first leader: “I was so surprised and excited and I just wanted to do a good job, It is important not to throw trash on the ground as the streets get dirty and trash goes into the ocean”.
Speaking about the possibility of he and his family relocating in the future, Gabriel said he would like to be involved in Tidy Towns there too.
Gabriels parents Maxime and his wife Ana spoke of how they are proud of their son: “He never wants to miss a Saturday because he has a deep sense of responsibility towards Tidy Towns and he is committed to being the Junior’s Club Leader”.
All junior volunteers are required to wear a high vis jacket and are alway with their parents. Safety is a priority for the group, who also adhere to covid-19 safety measures while meeting up each week.
Máire told The Dublin Gazette: “Later in the season Gabriel and all volunteers, junior and senior, will be hoping for good news from the National Tidy Towns Competition.
If you’d like to get involved with the group, you can email them at [email protected].