Tidy Towns

Clara Tidy Towns aim to improve our town for everyone in the area and its visitors. Details have just been announced about some initiatives being planned be Clara Tidy Towns in preparation for the 2014 Tidy Towns competition. Commenting on the initiatives Chairperson Tim McMahon said “There is a perception that the sole focus of Tidy Towns is just about picking liter”. He went on to explain that the 2014 competition has been revamped and includes 8 categories ranging from Community Involvement to Sustainable Waste & Resource Management. He said that while Clara had improved its overall score to 208 he believed that an increase of 10% was possible in 2014 if everyone in the town supported the work of the committee.
The Tidy Towns Committee is very keen to promote the area of Wildlife, Habitats and Natural Amenities which is one section of the competition that Clara believes it can significantly improve its score; it was awarded 25 marks last year out of a possible 50. The first initiative is planned to take place on Saturday 10th May and is a Biodiversity Walk that will take place in the wild life area in the park at Charlestown Bridge. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce participants to the variety of wildlife in the area and to offer suggestions on how wildlife may be enhanced locally. The event will be led by Nuala Madigan, Education Officer based in the Bog of Allen nature reserve and will be very much “hands-on” with a great opportunity for people to collect samples and pictures of local flora and fauna in the area. The event is FREE & start time will be announced later. All are invited to attend, especially children and their parents.
The second initiative to promote Wildlife, Habits and Natural Amenities relates to the development of a Community Garden as a “quiet area” for people to relax with nature. Working in partnership with Clara Youth Reach and Fr. Keary, the idea is to carry out some work on the walled garden in the grounds of Drayton Villas. Now home to our local parish priest, this former Goodbody’s house, has an extensive walled garden that has been neglected for many years. The students with Youth Reach have started to tidy up the area and have carried out a detailed survey of the wildlife and plants that use this unique habitat throughout the year. While plans are at an early stage it is hoped to develop the garden as a place where biodiversity can flourish and, at the same time provide a peaceful haven for local people to spend some quality time.
Not forgetting the other areas of the Tidy Towns competition, the committee is working with a number of local volunteers on a project to improve the appearance of the town centre. Plans are at an early stage and a number of ideas have been identified for consideration. It is hoped to provide hanging baskets on the street lamp posts along River Street, Main Street and the Square again this year. Working in partnership with St Brigid’s Credit Union the Tidy Towns committee wants to add a splash of color to the town centre during the summer months.
The Committee is very grateful to its local credit union for supporting its work; this type of partnership underpins a key objective to involve all strands of the community in the work of Clara Tidy Towns.
The Committee would love to hear from anyone interested in any of the new initiatives mentioned above, the feedback and input local people are essential if Clara is to improve its ratings this year.