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Bridgefoot Street Garden Places Second in “Grow It Yourself” Contest

Bridgefoot Street Garden Places Second in the Today Show’s “Grow It Yourself” Contest- Win €2000.

After years of careful planning and preparation, it seems the Bridgefoot Street Garden is starting to get the recognition that it deserves. As it envisions to be a permanent and integral feature in inner city Dublin’s horticultural, and social landscape, the garden found itself selected from thousands of of other gardening initiatives around the nation to partake in Energia’s “Grow it Yourself” competition. In a special stand alone category sponsored by RTÉ’s Today Show, the Bridgefoot street garden competed against two other community gardens, L’Arche in Belfast (which teaches gardening to people with learning disabilities) and Edible Landscape in Westport Co. Mayo (teaching food security and climate-smart cultivation in local communities).

The competition was very tight, and the Bridgefoot Street Garden narrowly lost out to Edible Landscape who won first prize of €5000. However, so impressed were the judges with all the finalists, they awarded both runners up a prize of €2000 each. Speaking at the event, spokesman for the Bridgefoot St Garden Richard Taplin said that he was delighted with the result, and that the money will be used to build a much needed wind tunnel and the remainder would be used to help fund various social enterprises that the garden is involved with.

Starting back in 2015, after a herculean effort from Richard and the lads, the Bridgefoot St Garden is the centerpiece in the local Mensshed. The idea being that men, who for a variety of reasons find themselves isolated from the local community can come together and contribute something positive, both for themselves and the wider community. What makes the garden so unique is that it was entirely the result of the lads own initiative.

And that is why this win is so important. Not only because they did it by themselves, but also because Dublin City Council want to take over the garden as part of their “regeneration” program. The moment clipboard carrying boxtickers and “I’m one of the lads, because I roll my sleeves up and don’t wear a tie” politicians take over, the garden ceases to be testament to genuine inner city genius and effort, and becomes another soulless greenspace.

Hopefully, this win will highlight the importance of the Garden, and why it should remain in the custody of the men. The Garden has the potential to greatly serve the community if it is allowed to flourish. Not only from the perspective of helping isolated men in the community, but also by teaching the importance of sustainable gardening techniques, and maybe even creating jobs in the future.

We at the Fountain Resource Group would like to congratulate Richard and lads on their excellent achievement.

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