In 2010 we established a community garden project in conjunction with local residents and service providers. The Shanganagh Community Garden has proven to be a huge success in active citizenship. This programme was set up through RAPID, with the support of Dunlaoghaire/Rathdown County Council (Estate Management and Parks Department), Health Service Executive (Health Promotion Unit), VEC, Southside Partnership, and Shanganagh CDP. We have transformed an open green space which was attracting a lot of negative anti-social activity into a space where over 40 local people are actively growing fruit, veg, and flowers. Through funding from Estate Management, we fenced off this area, it was rotovated, marked out, and individual fencing constructed, and all securely gated and locked. We then allocated group spaces and individual plots, and growing began. We next invited growers to a meeting and set up a local steering committee, consisting of many local residents.
The current membership of the project consists of 34 individual growers, a Cancer Support Group, a Men’s Group. It has also built up a good level of interaction between residents and is positively contributing to a growing sense of trust and community spirit. The Garden Project is also promoting a health objective on supporting residents in the production of healthy food, both in the exercise gained while growing and in the consumption of the food.
Phase two of the project began in Feb 2012 when we acquired an additional adjacent piece of land. 34 new growers have come on board which brings us up to 70 individual plots.
We featured on TV3’s Morning Show every Thursday, with a skilled horticulturist giving advice and information to growers. We have also had some very happy BBQ community family days. The gardens have also won 1st prize the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council Environmental Award in 2010 and 2011. We won the Republic of Ireland Regional Finalists Award for the UK and Ireland Future Friendly Awards for 2011.
Location: Shanganagh Cliffs, Shankill, Dublin 18