IMG_4222Mutual Ground is the title of a project offering mentoring to members of Louth Tidy Towns Together, interested in learning about community biodiversity gardens. To mark the European Year of Citizens, social activism and active citizenship will be prominent themes within Mutual Ground’s agenda. Mutual Ground encourages communities to explore local distinctiveness, and to develop local democratic involvement. It is inspired by the UK charity Common Ground (www.commonground.org.uk), which underlines the importance of environmental celebrations as a means of improving local pride and community participation.

To celebrate this year’s theme for National Tree Week (A Feast of Trees), the forest garden at Blackrock Playgound in County Louth will be profiled as part of Mutual Ground’s activities. A new school forest garden at Dromiskin National School is also being developed to further explore the benefits of cultivating naturescapes¬†within school grounds.

The Louth Tidy Towns Together website http://www.louthtidytownstogether.com includes a training journal called Mutual Ground, with topics covering biodiversity gardening, special events, and green schools.

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Biodiversity can be created through gardens which include wildflowers, native plants and trees. These gardens are also potential gathering places for intergenerational events, and the marking of important environmental dates (i.e. Earth Day, World Environment Day, Biodiversity Week, etc.). Biodiversity incorporates people into local networks for nature. Gardening for nature is a means of improving not only the ecology of a community, it also helps to shape the character of the social landscape. Creating interactive social spaces, rooted in cultivating native plants and trees, inspires a true collaboration between people and the natural world.

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