We would like to say a big thank you to Loreto Secondary School, St. Michael's, Navan Transition year students who raised over €1,600 through their sleepout event in support of our Navan's homeless.
We now have the support and backing of Core Ireland which will mean we are able to provide an improved outreach service to the most vulnerable people in our county.
Our annual Christmas delivery to families in food poverty within Navan saw 40 hampers distributed by volunteers.
A special thank you to the regular weekly delivery volunteers who donated their years worth of petrol expenses to purchase extra supplies.
There's a noticeable reduction in outdoor decorative winter lights this year due to the cost of living crisis and the rising cost of electricity. We therefore decided that it's not appropriate to host our winter lights display this year.
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.
Due to the closure last year of the ICHH charity we've been unable to advertise and collect donations from the public. We were delighted when Beaufort Secondary School made their own collection and asked us to help distribute them.
Our traditional Christmas deliveries to families in food poverty within Navan saw 40 hampers distributed by volunteers.
A special thank you to the regular weekly delivery volunteers who donated their years worth of petrol expenses to purchase supplies.
Tree Decorating Time?
The Late Late Toy Show today is often the signal for Christmas Trees to be erected in family homes.
LED lights are much more energy efficient and anything with a power plug and no longer working can be recycled at the Navan Recycling Centre.
Don't be tempted to buy battery lights thinking they are cheaper to run than mains electric - one expert has pointed out on knowledge sharing site Quora that they will cost as much as 600 times more to run.
Our Volunteer of the Year
We are delighted to announce the winner of our Johnstown Tidy Towns 'Volunteer of the Year Award 2022' sponsored by Smiths SuperValu is Alan Lawes.
Alan's continuous commitment and drive in leading our ‘People Projects’ including Navan Outreach, Food Hampers, Christmas Shoeboxes, Clothing Collections, Easter Eggs, Back to School Packs, involvement in the Ukraine Appeal, and also making the time to provide hands-on support with all the environmental projects is remarkable.
Congratulations Alan on your well deserved award.
Johnstown Tidy Towns Committee.
Hosted at O'Briens it will be 12 Month's since our last Zoom AGM this will be our first in-person gathering since 2018.
Haven Studios has added a sparkle to the dark autumn evenings in Old Johnstown Village. Local artist Fiona has transformed the studio with the use of natural materials and together with seasonal imagery produced by Compact Ivy Mural Design Meath it's a really effective scene.
It's refreshing to see traditional decorations of real fir, pine cones, eucalyptus, and pussy willow all foraged locally and in Wicklow.
We look forward to seeing more Johnstown decorations in the coming weeks.
Many thanks to Meath County Council for agreeing to take our collected meadow grass to the recycling centre.
25 brown waste bins worth have now been composted from our meadows.
St Martha's Bridge looks rather empty now that volunteers have taken down the flower baskets. In full bloom during the summer they were very effective at attracting pollinators.
Tidy Results Are Announced
Congratulations to Trim on winning the Tidiest Town Award for the 4th time.
We're in the same large town category but we're a few decades of experience behind them.
The final section of our Johnstown summer meadows got cut back down to ground level. The grass cuttings will be allowed to compact before being removed for composting.
The Metges Road and Spireview Lawn sites will be seeded with 'nature's lawnmower' yellow rattle that adds both colour to next summer's display and will start reducing the grass.
Sowing Spring Colour
Having waited a full 2 months to ensure any dominant weed roots have been removed we sowed some of our 'Irish Seeds' that we'll hopefully recognise in Spring.
Colour Set to Return
The Bothar Sion Fence Line Native Irish Wildflowers originally came from an expensive seed packet and since each flower produces hundreds of seeds we've collected these.
This summer's 2nd-year display (picture below) was quite different to the vivid red poppies. yellow, orange, & blue cornflowers pictured above. This year we've intervened to cast a few collected seeds to add some vibrant colour next year.
Pride of Place Awards
We offer our congratulations to all the award winners at MCC Pride of Place 2022 for the Navan Municipal District.
Housing Estate Small (1-30 houses) - St. Ultan's Terrace
Housing Estate Medium (31-70 houses) - Elmview Close
Housing Estate Large (71+ houses) - Beechmount Residents Association
Streetscape - Old Johnstown Village Community Group
Best Bee Friendly Front Garden - Maureen Davis
Small Town 500-2000 – Old Johnstown Village Community Group
Large Town > 2000 - Johnstown Tidy Towns
Youth Project - Beaufort College
Community Wellbeing - Core Ireland
Heritage - Old Johnstown Village Community Group Old Kilcarn Cemetery
Action for Pollinators -Johnstown Tidy Towns
Best New Group – Solas Glan Community Garden
Shop Front – Gardener’s Choice
Hospitality – P. Clarke’s Bar
Volunteer of the Year/ Shane Donnelly Inspirational Award – Sean Dunne
Johnstown Biodiversity Plan
With all the great work being done to promote biodiversity in Johnstown we really need professional help to establish what we have, and how best to develop a plan to maintain and promote it. We have applied to the Community Foundation Ireland for their "Environment and Nature Fund 2022". This could enable us to employ an ecologist to survey Johnstown's public spaces and establish a biodiversity baseline and potential project areas to develop.
If we are successful we would hope to have a completed report in late 2023.
The vast majority of the sunflowers along our 10km trail have now finished making seeds. Volunteers have now collected and cleared many sites although we have left a handful that are still in bloom.
The seeds can either be dried and stored for future use or eaten since their very nutritional. Wild birds will soon get the idea that these contain seeds simply by hanging the heads next to existing bird feeders. These make more hygienic feeders compared to emptying the seeds into plastic tubes.
Volunteers deliver food, drinks, and tents to 3 rough sleepers in Navan and also to one lady sleeping in her car.
More sleeping bags, food, and drinks distributed by volunteers.
It's time to clear away the summer meadow long grass on Metges Rd. Cutting with a lawnmower would burn out the machine, strimmers get tangled too easily and make too much mess. The traditional scythe is however very effective and with a little practice it's fairly quick and reasonably simple to use.
The clearing has begun and is expected to take a few weeks to complete. The grass cuttings will be taken for composting locally before yellow rattle seeds are sown.
Every Saturday volunteers deliver up to 20 hampers to Navan families experiencing food poverty. Contact us to offer your help.
From September to the end of February trees and hedges can legally be trimmed and pruned.
We have plans to prune low troublesome branches along pedestrian pavements in the neighbourhood. Contact us if you can help.
Long Verge Cut
An unplanned, yet very welcomed, development during the summer months was the 'Let it Grow' verge on Bothar Sion at the Bailis Downs estate.
Today it was cut and cleared having been let grow since May. This protected the wildflower strip and helped trap litter that would otherwise be blown across the estate lawn.
The entry sign to Johnstown Wood on the lawn of the Elm Estate has started a planting transformation. The soil will remain bare for a number of weeks to ensure that there are no deep-rooted weeds in place before a seed sowing that will hopefully produce something distinctly Irish next year. Rain is also needed to help loosen the summer baked soil before sowing something for summer and Autumn.
Those who produce, sell or supply solid fuels need to prepare for the introduction of new legislation that comes into effect from 31st October 2022.
For guidance on how to get ready, visit IrishGovCleanAir
A volunteer records their steps through the neighbourhood in just one day.
Helping Tidy Towns is exercise without even realising!
After nearly 3mths our display baskets on St Martha's Bridge are doing well. We were unsure how the pollinator friendly plants would deal with the exposed site. The bees and butterflies certainly managed to find them.
Prevented from planting these out in late Spring due to the heatwave staff at O'Brien's Johnstown have hosted these climbers on their roof terrace. These can now be planted on Metges Road fence line in Autumn.
In one week volunteers removed 3km of road weeds.
Many thanks to Meath County Council for coming to our aid with the street sweeper.
Several bin bags of ragwort were also cleared from the banks of Bothar Sion. Despite being hugely beneficial to biodiversity ragwort is illegal to grow since it is poisonous to horses and cattle if eaten.
Navan Outreach Continues
Thanks to volunteers for providing assistance and hot meals this evening.
Removal of Graffiti and Litter today, both are blights on our environment and completely avoidable.
Hot meals were delivered to those living on the streets of Navan.
Street Weeding Continues
An hour spent this morning and the road frontage of Johnstown Wood's Birch Estate looks much better.
Before school restarts why not grab a shovel and take on a section of the road with your neighbours. It doesn't take very long with a few helpers and you'll be doing a great service to the environment by protecting it from poisonous chemicals.
We'll collect the debris from you if you don't have space in organic waste bins.
Weed Removal Blitz
North Metges Road looks a lot neater today as we return with a blitz removing the pavement weeds WITHOUT using chemicals.
There's still more to do but we had hoped to have news about our MCC grant application to acquire an environmentally friendly machine. Unfortunately we'll have to wait a few more months to see if Johnstown gets access to a better long-term solution for chemical-free weed control.
In the meantime feel free to offer your help to keep the pavements and cycle lanes clear. We'll be finishing off North Metges Road before working our way along all the main roads and with your help we'll look after Johnstown's streets a lot quicker.
Message us to offer your help.
Bothar Sion set to close for 2wks.
Meath County Council advise that diversions will be in place from Monday Sept 12th to Sunday Sept 25th to facilitate works to the sewer.
This impacts on our St Martha's Bridge display with access to water the flowers. We may remove the flowers shortly before works commence.
More info www.meath.ie/notices
New to this year's Sunflower Trail Spun Cycles and Run have transformed the former Metges Road swimming pool into a very welcoming sight. As part of this year's 🌻 Trail you can take a family-friendly 🚴 following the cycle lanes and around the IDA.
We're very excited to hear that they're NOW offering bike hire which is great news if you've not got enough space at home to store a family collection of bikes.
Details in store or call them on 0469020478 and they specialise in Bike and Running sales and servicing including Ebikes.
Finally Berries Appear
For those keen on foraging for summer fruit then berries have appeared at our planting in 2018 at the former petrol station verge on Metges Road.
Not all the sunflowers form part of a public trail so it's great to see Sunflowers bring some extra sunshine into the adorable garden at the Special Care Unit in Bailis.
IDA Grass Fire
Emergency services called to put out a grass fire in the Johnstown IDA. The cause is unknown but firefighters have in previous years been called to put out deliberate BBQ fires within the Athlumney Riverside Walk area.
Don't Mow Yet
Many of the 'Don't Mow Yet' Council signs are now being removed after several weeks benefiting biodiversity. After holding off from using the lawnmower for as long as they could the Council finally cut the Johnstown Roundabout.
Town Centre Road Works
Navan Town Scheme (Navan 2030) – Traffic Management Notice
Meath County Council wishes to advise of traffic management changes to occur on Kennedy Road as part of the current public realm upgrade works in Navan - Monday 11th July 2022
Full details on the changes can be seen at bit.ly/3bZ1skI
Dunville Development Stalls
Plans were submitted (Ref 22606) for 46 apartments in a split level 6 storey building at the Dunville site on the boundary of the Johnstown School Campus.
Further information has been requested by the planning department citing concerns of overdevelopment of the site, access road, scale of design considering the neighbouring 2 or 3 storey dwellings, and community use of neighbouring land.
Summer Meadow Weeding
Creating summer meadows that have kerb appeal means removing aggressive weeds such as dock. When the wind and rain flattern the grass these are easy to spot and remove before they drop their seeds..Read More
Steps Clean Up
Our appeal for volunteers earlier in the week resulted in the Spireview Steps getting a thorough clean from litter.
Now we need a regular clean-up to maintain this litter hotspot.
St Martha's Bridge Flowers
This year's display of 30 planters was installed by volunteers and they are slightly different from previous years. Created by Navan Garen Centre these flowers are all highly attractive to pollinators and if you get up close the smell is amazing.Read More
Chestnut Court Sunflowers
A dozen flowers were planted along the approach road into Old Johnstown Village today
Sunflower School Team
Students and staff have shown us their amazing 'Green Fingers' producing one-quarter of this year's Johnstown Sunflower Trail.
Pictured are students from Ard Ri CNS.Read More
Sunflower Planting Begins
This year's trail planting got off to an enthusiastic start with staff at Utmost, in the IDA, not only joining our trail but starting it off with the first planting.Read More
What's Going On?
Over a dozen sites along Bothar Sion had graffiti removed by volunteers. This is after removing several instances days earlier.
Sunflower School Team
We offer a huge thank you to students and staff at our 4 local schools for growing hundreds of sunflowers for our 2022 trail.
Pictured are students from St Stephens NS.Read More
Entry Display Offer
The 4 estates along North Metges Road do not have flower displays around their estate name entry marker stones. We made an offer to help them start their own.
Volunteers are starting to collect hundreds of saplings from our local schools. Some are being transplanted into pots for transporting around the neighbourhood ready for planting out.Read More
Someone's got a new paint pen!
No sooner than we clear graffiti that it returns. It's a Navan-wide issue with tags by the same person appearing everywhere but why would someone think it's cool to lay claim to electrical boxes, bus stops, lamposts, and street signs?
A massive thank you to The Grow Shop team who have played a significant role in helping to create this year's Sunflower Trail.
Not only did they donate compost bags to the community earlier this year to start off the sunflowers but they have grown delicate trailing plants to feature in our St Martha's Bridge Summer Display.Read More
Lovely to see the small lawn at the entrance to St Mary's Special School host oxeye daisies.
Chemical Free Weeding
Only 50m more to go and then all of Metges Road will have had it's first pavement weed clearing without using chemicals. Bothar Sion is not far behind but the school approach road is in need of volunteers.
A lawn without an owner?
A few minutes spent by a volunteer with a lawnmower has quickly improved the presentation of the Metges Road bus stop outside the vacant property.
Weeds or Flowers?
It's a mystery why some roadside flowers are considered as being weeds whilst others are desired and tolerated. Neither should be growing where they' are not wanted but who wants to remove the 'pretty' ones.Read More
Signage went up today to highlight 4 Johnstown sites where areas of estate lawns are 'growing wild' to support biodiversity. With the help of local residents these sites are on their way to becoming summer meadows.Read More
Clear The Clutter
As part of our MCC Green Km initiative we made a request to remove the two 'out of date' and very large National Development Plan signs at the Bothar Sion bus stop.
Metges Road Meadow
The first signs of something being different appear on the Chestnut & Elm estate lawn in Johnstown Wood. This is the start of our pilot project to create a summer meadow.
Meath County Council aims to cut verges every 4 weeks but we needed to distinguish between grass and intentional wildflower planting.
Request to replace signs
We made requests to MCC to replace 2 street signs on Bothar Sion and to correct one direction sign that has been wrong for over a decade on south Metges Road.
Well done to Meath County Council contractors.
We're delighted to see that our request to replace the damaged Bothar Sion signs were actually cleaned without needing to be replaced.
Athlumney Centre GoneAfter more than two decades the north Metges Road building has now been completely demolished.
The Meath County Council reacted quickly to the JTT request for graffiti removal at the Bothar Sion bus shelters. A number of signs and electrical boxes in and around Johnstown were targeted for vandalism over the weekend and the new bus stop shelter was cleaned within 24hrs.
Volunteer Awards Night
Meath County Council event to recognise the outstanding work of community volunteers during the height of the Covid pandemic was hosted by Rory O'Connor of Rory's Stories.Pictured: Peter Heylin, Robin Marshall, Rory, Alan Lawes, Dave Hewitt
'Well done to all involved in the Green Schools programme and ensuring that Coláiste na Mí achieved green flag status. Yesterday our TY horticulture class raised the flag for the 1st time. It was a very proud day for the school as the raising of our 1st green flag recognises the positive work and determination put in to ensure a greener school for all.
A huge congratulations to Iníon O’Donnell and to all our TY students involved for driving this forward.
We look forward to further work being done in this area in the years ahead.'
Play Areas & No Mow May
A volunteer makes use of the Tidy Towns lawnmower to cut a soccer pitch and a play area in the Bailis Downs green. Having been let grow for 5 weeks (including No Mow May) the Res Assoc is attempting to strike a balance between the frequency of cuts, costs to maintain, the need for play areas, and the volume of grass clippings that the contractor can practically manage.
Pride of Place 2022
On the back of our 3 winning awards in 2021 we've submitted our entry into this year's competition for Best Large Town, Actions for Pollinators, and Community Wellbeing.
To help offset some of our transport costs Malones Toyota Navan provided sponsorship on Alan Lawes's new vehicle.
Once grass goes over the wheels of the lawnmower there's a problem cutting it back. Despite being No Mow May this is the 1st cut of the year and there comes a time when it's gone too high.
Thanks to our volunteer Dave Hewitt for cutting the grass verge all the way from Millbrook Apartments along the Boyne View side of Johnstown People's Park and onto Metges Road.
St Mary's Green Flag
We were delighted to see St Mary's Special School raise their Biodiversity Green Schools Flag today.
Congratulations on this huge achievement, it's well deserved.
The Weeds Are Back In Town.
It didn't take long before weeds reappeared along the pavement and cycle lane. Volunteers cleared those on Bothar Sion because if we don't take them out then the Council will be obliged to return to spraying them with poisonous weedkillers.
We want Johnstown to do the right thing for the environment. You can help by lending a hand.
We resumed our verge edging to avoid the needless use of poisonous weed killer by MCC. We're going to be working our way along Metges Road in the coming weeks.
A big thank you to Walterstown GFC for helping us transform the turf back into useable soil.
It's Clean Again
It's not exactly an exciting photo but it's been a long time since it looked this dull. A few minutes with a brush and paint, in the hands of a volunteer, removed the graffiti from a prominent location.
Weed Free Roundabout
It's only when you drive that you see the weeds on the Johnstown roundabout curb - and so many of us do drive around it daily. We decided to pick them out to make a very brief, yet significant, difference.
Checking Tree Ties
Since they were planted the trees along Metges Road have been buffeted by strong southwesterly winds and the tree ties sometimes come loose.
The recent Johnstown Shopping Centre exterior cleaning made the nearby street signs look dirty so volunteers tried to make a few of them slightly more presentable.
Alerted by a resident whose child's hands were filthy after touching the street pole we deiced to try a spring clean.
Plants Drink Too
The Ardboyne Hotel provided us with some of the hundreds of drinks bottles that we're going to transform into watering funnels for our Sunflower Trail.
Clean Shopping Centre
Over the period of a week the Johnstown Shopping Centre has been painted and washed.
Cost Of Living
Johnstown Tidy Towns report an increase in local hamper delivery requests as the cost of living rises.
Walterstown GFC encourage visitors to bring their own reu-useable cups when they visit the club's Black Coffee.
Bike Week 14th to 22nd May
BikeWeek is a celebration and promotion of the benefits of cycling and there are FREE events locally:
Sunday 15 May - Community Cycle around Navan
Wed 18 May - Evening Cycle along the Boyne Ramparts
Saturday 21 May - Event at Meath County Council Offices
Sunday 22 May - Social Cycle
For more details and to register for these free events, visit: http://navancycling.ie/bike-week-2022/
No Mow May
Wild About Navan calls on the community to play their part in ensuring that biodiversity has a fighting chance this year by letting their lawns grow. This provides food, shelter, and security for so many creatures - and you'll soon have lawn flowers too!
Play your part at home by joining #NoMowMay
Going The Extra Mile.
How amazing is this?
The Bailis Downs estate grass contractor is praised by Johnstown Tidy Towns for taking unusual care to work around this delicate cowslip that was just in flower during the 1st grass cut of the year.
Would you be willing to see more of these lawn flowers during #NoMowMay?
A sea of dandelions fills the lawns along north Metges Road.
Johnstown Tidy Towns is encouraging those who manage estate lawns to refrain from having them cut until late April. This encourages lawn flowers such as dandelions, daisies, and cowslip, to flourish and provide food for pollinators at a time when they need it the most.
Do your part and join in #NoMowMay next month to encourage biodiversity.
This year's Johnstown Sunflower Trail got off to a great start.
This lovely card was waiting for Tidy Towns volunteers from students of St Mary's Special School as they took delivery today of sunflower seeds.
The 4 local schools which also include Ard Ri CNS, St Stephen's NS, and Colaiste na Mi secondary school, will be helping to produce over a thousand sunflowers for the Johnstown Sunflower Trail 2022.
Ukraine Needs Food!
Video footage sent back by Gillian Doonan this morning from Poznan, Poland shows the Johnstown Ukraine Appeal truck being unloaded at a Caratas Charity Hub.
The video clips make for heart-wrenching viewing.
The priority is very clear. People are DESPERATELY in need of FOOD aide.
Navan History announced the launch of their latest Heritage Guide and at €5 and delivered free it's well worth discovering.
Preparations For Demolition
Builders begin to wrap fencing around the Athlumney Centre as they prepare to create new apartments and facilities for 2 takeaways - perhaps Mario's and The Dragaon Inn will return?
Volunteers gathered to pack over 7 tonnes of donations into the Ukraine delivery vehicle.
New Reminder Signs
They should not be needed but these are appearing around Johnstown to remind owners to clean up after their pets.
Fantastic to see the donations coming in for the people of Ukraine from our Community. If you have items to donate then bring them to the trolleys outside Smith's SuperValu before Monday 28th of March
Athlumney Centre Closures
Mario's at the Athlumney Centre on Metges Road recently closed and Johnstown ABC Boxing Club vacated at the beginning of March. This only leaves the Dragon Inn which is also due to close soon.
The building will be demolished (date unknown) to make way for the development of 42 new apartments, 2 takeaway/fast food outlets and a community room.
Planning Reference NA191200
Ladybirds Are Great For Your Garden
Three '7 Spot' Ladybirds warm themselves in today's sunshine. You're in luck If you find them in your garden since they have a ferocious appetite for plant pests such as aphids, scales, mealy bugs, leafhoppers, mites, and white flys.
You can help by recording sightings of Ladybirds and other wildlife https://records.biodiversityireland.ie/start-recording
Where will you be in 10 or 20yrs time?
If you commute from Navan to Dublin there's a good chance you'll be waiting for the Dublin train. But don't start queueing for it just yet. According to the article by the Meath Chronicle it will be arriving sometime between 2031 and 2042
Energy Bills Set To Soar
Bord Gais announce customer bills will increase from April stating that the average electricity bill will go up by 27% and the average gas bill will go up by 39%.
Perhaps it's time to revisit our Reducing Bills Articles
Appeal to Clean Space
Temporary space has been provided at the space below FeelFit Gym, Johnstown to help Volunteers collect humanitarian aide for Ukraine. The Johnstown Navan Ukraine Appeal calls for volunteers to meet Tuesday 15th at 3:30pm with brushes to make it useable.
Bees Are Coming Back
Bubble Bees are emerging from their winter rest. JTT are asking everyone to give dandelions and clover a chance to flower in lawns to provide much needed food for hungry bees.
Don't Mow Grow
Metges Road Tree-Lined Avenue
During February Johnstown Tidy Towns volunteers planted more than 60 tree saplings to increase biodiversity and create habitat corridors for wildlife and pollinators in Johnstown.
Silver Birch, Guelder Rose, Rowan, Wild Cherry, and Holly trees were planted along Metges Road and were provided by MCC as part of the Green Kilometre Initiative.
We hope these will grow to screen the Johnstown Wood, Bailis Downs, and the Boyne estates from the increasing levels of road traffic.
In Autumn 2018 Johnstown Tidy Towns planted 100 crocus bulbs around tree bases on