St. Joseph’s Foroige, Streamstown Co Westmeath recently won a gold medal for their project on weed killer at the Aldi Foroige Youth Citizenship Awards held in City West Dublin.
The Foroige group have been busy for the past year researching and coming up with an alternative to chemical weedkiller with a view to protecting our natural waters from harmful chemicals.
Their work included carrying out a survey in the community to establish the use of chemical weedkillers, and to determine if the community were willing to trial alternative, eco-friendly sprays if they were available.
“The Streamstown Tidy Village approached the group as they were keen to try and get away from relying on chemical sprays and it was a perfect project for our group to get working on. The club members have worked hard and were delighted to get assistance from both the Council’s Environmental Awareness Officer, Ruth Maxwell and Basil Mannion, the Communities Water Officer from the Waters and Communities Office – they advised on how the chemical sprays affect both our water and pollinators and help research alternatives” – Helena Connell, Foroige Leader
Local Community Water Officer Basil Mannion emphasised that the project is especially relevant, because the Streamstown area and wider catchment are located within the headwaters of the River Gageborough, which has been selected as an Area for Action in the River Basin Management Plan 2018-2021.