Over 100 TidyTowns volunteers from across Limerick gathered in the Woodlands Hotel, Adare, earlier this week (Tuesday, 9 February 2016) to learn how they can improve their overall marks in the annual competition.
Organised by Limerick City and County Council and supported by West Limerick Resources and Ballyhoura Development Association, the annual event also heard how the year round work carried out by Limerick's Tidy Towns groups, resident associations and another community based groups is "making Limerick a more attractive and vibrant place to live and visit".
Among those who addressed the gathered was TidyTowns adjudicator Billy Flynn who outlined the background to each of the competition categories and how TidyTowns groups can improve their overall marks.
Sinead McDonnell, Environmental Awareness Officer with Limerick City & County Council provided attendees with information and advice on the range of supports available to TidyTowns groups. Meanwhile, Dr. Liam Lysaght of National Biodiversity Data Centre explained the Wildlife, Habitats & Natural Amenities category of the competition, including the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, data recording and invasive species. The presentations were followed by a questions and answers session.
"This annual seminar gives local Tidy Towns groups the opportunity to take stock of Limerick's overall performance in the competition and identify ways in which further improvements can be achieved," said Cllr. Gerald Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick.
"In recent years, TidyTowns groups in Limerick have placed a greater focus on community involvement and encouraging local residents, community groups and businesses to work together to improve the overall appearance of their respective areas. This approach has reaped dividends for them and Limerick's overall performance in the competition," he added.
Meanwhile, a special presentation was made on the evening to the communities of Moyross, Adare and Kilteely for their respective successes in the TidyTowns Special Waste Prevention Category, Tidy Towns Tourism Category and the IPB Pride of Place competition.
Limerick's participants in the 2016 national SuperValu TidyTowns competition will be hoping to emulate the 2015 successes of Adare (Gold Medal, County Winner), Ardpatrick, Newcastlewest, Kilmallock and Galbally (Bronze Medal), Abbeyfeale (Special Endeavour) and Moyross Residents Forum (Waste Prevention).