3. Green Spaces and Landscaping
First impressions make a difference throughout the entire year. We want ot convey to visitors that Johnstown is a great place to live, work, and enjoy. With numerous green spaces, trees, hedges, and verges we can do so much more to enhance and maintain our public spaces.
Competition Guide Notes:
Communities should demonstrate the following: The planning, design and management of green spaces. The selection and appropriate siting of trees and their ongoing maintenance, including formative pruning, watering and attention to the stakes and ties. Presentation of landscaping of all entrances to your town/village/locality in consultation with your local authority, where appropriate. The use of suitable plants for hedges and shrubs for year round effect is important as is the siting of seasonal bedding schemes where you wish to highlight important areas. The use of plant containers can provide impact where it is not possible to plant directly into the ground. To reduce maintenance tasks limit the use of containers. To demonstrate the year round impact of the landscape works in your community, you are encouraged to provide dated photographs of, for example, daffodil schemes which are not evident in summertime.
(M&P) Sunflower Trail
Engaging our whole community in planning, nurturing, and celebrating.
Our 2022 display engaged several classes from of our 4 schools, several local businesses, Meath County Council departments of Environment, Transport and Maintenance, and Heritage, Navan IDA and 5 businesses, and 3 local sporting clubs to host nearly 50 displays and over 600 sunflowers.
For 2023 more than 50 sites have been suggested, and we are germinating 1400 sunflowers. We've taken the opportunity to change the trail route to include the newly opened Milbrook to Johnstown Wood pedestrian link together with alternative paths.
We've greatly increased the scale of the potential display by continuing with our existing school growing teams and asking local volunteers from several residential estate groups to germinate an extra 500 seeds with the aim of them asking their neighbouring residents to grow these sunflowers in their front gardens and fill in the gaps between display sites.
(N) Riverside Cleaned
Organised by our local Wild About Navan, April 1st, we participated with 50 others to clean dozens of litter bags in the 1st Big Boyne Clean Up at the Ramparts, Navan. In a future visit we aim to include our local Athlumney Riverside.
(N) 'Don't Mow Yet'
In 2022 Meath County Council allowed certain verges and roundabouts to grow the grass longer than usual to allow wildflowers to appear and to provide a better habitat for biodiversity. In March we met to discuss and endorse that 2km of Metges Road be included. A flurry of dandelions resulted within weeks and we helped improve the presentation by clearing the cycle path unwanted weeds and edged some of the verges.
(N&M) More Metges Rd Trees
Half a dozen new native trees provided by MCC were planted by residents of the Cluiane Na Boinne estate to extend the tree line on Metges Road. It is hoped that as traffic increases along this road in the coming years that these trees will form a pleasant noise barrier that also benefits pollinators and birds.
(M) Late First Lawn Cut
Delaying the first lawn cut of the year isn't easy when Easter keeps moving around and when many decide to revisit their gardens and children want to play outside. Several estate lawns did however benefit and the display of dandelions turned Johnstown yellow.
(N) Biodiversity Inspection
As part of our Community Biodiversity Action Plan we engaged ecologist Fintan Damer to create a baseline. We're not short of potential study areas such as the River Boyne, wooded, grassed, and even wild pocket areas within estates. Our aim is to develop a series of positive biodiversity actions that members of our community can implement and develop in the coming years.
(N) Green Clear Up
Tree branching locally has taken place during winter and the collection amassed a large pile of debris for MCC to collect from the JPP. Overhanging low branches posed a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists along the Priory, Boyne, and Athlumney Hall estates and these were clipped back. MCC contractors removed more substantial low branch pruning in estates previously 'taken in charge' such as Bailis Downs and Athlumney Wood in January.
(N) Hedge Trim
Often filled with litter the hedge trimmed by MCC at the Beech Estate, Johnstown Wood, outside the Johnstown School Campus has dramatically opened up the area. Local residents hope that it will deter late-night gatherings by youths.
(N) Drain Clearance
The view from Metges road doesn't show the amount of tree and scrub clearance carried out via MCC. The woodland area next to Bailis Village and seen here from within the IDA might appear severe but the volume of water now in the ditch emphasises the need to keep the water flowing.
(N&P) Spring Planting
The recent weather has changed from being extremely wet to extremely cold and neither are suitable conditions for planting bulbs. Add to this that people are naturally busy in the run up to christmas and therefore time ran out for planting. To ensure that the bulbs will be available next autumn we implemented our backup plan of planting our 1000 crocus bulbs in pots.