Galway city's Woods, Parks and Green Spaces finally Get Wardens!

I am happy to report that the on-the-grounds staff that our precious forests, parks and green spaces have so desperately required for decades has finally being sanctioned and funded by City Hall.

Last Christmas, I was devastated by the damage (see photos above) done to Terryland Forest Park by a group of anti-social elements who ripped up trees and fences for firewood, covered its woods with cans, bottles and other detritus, and intimidated visitors. (Read my article that I wrote in response to this destruction which appeared in the Galway Advertiser on January 7th). 
Our community campaign that followed demanding the establishment of a unit of full time on-the-ground wardens for our city's parks gathered public support and the agreement of councillor Imelda Byrne to put forward a motion for such new staffing to occur. 'Maith thú' Imelda.
Her motion was unanimously passed by her fellow councillors at a meeting of Galway City Council last Spring with an agreement that the funds would be allocated in the 2022 budget. This was confirmed last night at a finance meeting in City Hall.
Admittedly, the new three wardens are to be known as 'community wardens' with a remit for parks, rather than as 'parks wardens'. But it is a good start and we can work on the detail later. In a time when urban forests are so crucial in tackling Climate Change, acting as carbon sinks and restoring biodiversity, that is a day fro Galway to be proud off. Thanks Imelda Byrne, all city councillors and officials, and of course veteran environmental forest park activists such as Car Stanley, Colin Stanley, Ryan Crowell, Dan Clabby, Peter Butler, Martina Finn; Galway City Community Network representatives such as Eleanor Hough, Ann Irwin and Derrick Hambleton and so many others.
There is also good news that our other demands for a Biodiversity Officer and a Tree Officer have also been sanctioned. The former post is to be filled next month and the latter in February. Onwards & Upwards/Beir bua!!!

No comments: