Large Town > 2000
Large Town Pride of Place Award 2022 was presented to volunteers at MCC Buvinda House 12th October.
As a suburb of Navan, Johnstown has a significant population and identifiable community. Our varied endeavours to improve and maintain the neighbourhood have drawn support from local residents, our four nearby schools, 2 local sports clubs, and several local businesses. Our list of those we've engaged with over the past 12mths for supplies or information is now quite extensive. This year we expect to engage over +200 individuals in 'hands-on' support of our projects.
Since the vast majority of our landscape and planting projects are also 'Actions for Pollinators' we refer you to the same information booklet together with the additional initiatives outlined below.
Graffiti & Cleanliness
Fortunately, we don't get much and rely on our network to look out and report new sightings for removal. Two sites were painted over during May and we're starting to notice that street signs and poles now need a cleaning regime.
We are also aware that there are redundant/incorrect street signs that need removing/correcting and will be submitting a list to MCC.
With over a dozen regular weekly volunteers we still collect several waste bags from our streets. Overall Johnstown is staying cleaner for longer and we're grateful to MCC for collecting the litter bags on a weekly basis. In the absence of public segregation and recycling bins some of our collectors do sort through the litter either as they collect or when unloading.
We have numerous street signs regarding pet waste and cleaning up. Although we maintain the supply of mitt bags around the People’s park the bags are not always taken home by the pet owners. The signage on pavements was a welcome initiative but we’re conscious that it needs to be socially unacceptable and for witnesses to ‘call it out’ if we are to change the mindset of owners.
Election Poster Free Zone
Although it's not an election year we're becoming acutely aware of the clutter from a number of plastic posters advertising homes for sale, and the negative visual pollution that this is producing. We are monitoring the situation to ensure that they are not becoming permanent adverts.
We are considering whether to implement a ban or to have dated takedown displayed on signage.
Most residents and visitors are fully aware of the peak time school and commuter traffic. If anything, we believe that it will only get worse as more homes are built in the neighbourhood.
Walking and cycling continue to be promoted and maintaining clear, well-presented paths are high on our list. Countless hundreds of man-hours were spent last year managing litter and controlling weeds. An air pollution survey is something we'd like to do in collaboration with Navan Cycling Initiative and Green Schools.
The Old Johnstown Community Club are commended for their work and entry last year into the vacant building category and the village continues to look great. The remaining 3 high-visibility Johnstown buildings are also changing.
We are repeating the collection of 1,400 plastic drink bottles from local pubs that will be used for our Sunflower Trail. We continue to have access to 1,000 Ltrs of harvested rainwater via butts at volunteers' homes to water the St Martha's Bridge summer flowers. This year we hope to have access to a 300 ltr portable container.
Don't Mow Let It Grow
Encouraging the uptake of No Mow May changes the perception of how to manage grass lawns that aren't being used for play areas.
Don't Mow Let It Grow aims to create 3 neatly presented summer meadows on estate lawns. In other areas cutting soccer pitches, spirals, or shapes, may provide solutions to host both.
Johnstown has the natural resources readily to hand and we can't financially afford to keep purchasing compost for planting projects. Therefore we collaborated with Walterstown GFC in 2021 to recycle turf edging and leaf collection. This year we will expand this to include summer meadow grass mixed with shredded autumn leaves from the estate streets.
Donations of unwanted plants and materials from local residents and businesses have resulted in nearly a dozen projects in the past 12 months. Our recent collaboration with The Grow Shop has saved a considerable volume from landfills and has been shared amongst the community.
We are seeking ways to reduce the need for members to purchase their own tools and seeking inventive ways to reduce our environmental impact for fuel, transportation, storage, and purchase costs.
Our lawnmower can be hired for free by active volunteer members to use in their own estates such as verge cutting common areas or creating soccer pitches.
The handmade weed edging shovel was donated to us and continues to find numerous locations for its use provided volunteers can manage the waste.
This year we purchased a scythe to pilot cutting the 1,700 sqm of summer meadows being grown this year. We hope to make it into a community event but if we expand in future years we will hire mechanical equipment.
Low tree branches are again hindering pedestrians and another pruning project will be implemented. We are planning where we can utilise the chippings as a mulch.
Actions For Pollinators
Approx 80 sites across Johnstown are being implemented, maintained, or enhanced in 2022.
Projects range from planting bulbs to trees, flower displays to wildflowers, creating new summer meadows to surveying our existing habitats.