Celebrate Green and Blue spaces at the new Loving Galway Festival

Loving Galway Festival

Celebrate ‘Green and Blue’ Spaces at the new Loving Galway Festival!

The first ‘Loving Galway’ sustainability festival will run from the 20-30th of September 2018, in celebration of the ‘Green and Blue’ spaces breathing life into Galway City.

The festival is a unique collaboration between Galway City Council, Galway City Community Network, NUI Galway, LAWCO, Galway Environmental Network, Youth Work Ireland Galway, Green-Schools, Galway Waterways, and community and environmental groups across the city. The festival builds on decades of activity by the City’s environmental community and is a legacy of Galway’s European Green Leaf designation in 2017.

Highlights of the festival include: ‘greening’ Culture Night with community events across the city; a high level seminar on the 23rd of September featuring Prof. John Sweeney (Maynooth University), Duncan Stewart (environmental and sustainability Producer and Presenter), Janice Fuller (Consultant Ecologist) and Hans Visser (Biodiversity Officer, Fingal County Council); and workshops, talks and displays as part of the Oyster Festival ‘Sunday Funday’ on the 30th of September.

Galway Environmental Network and Galway City Community Network will host a seminar on participatory planning; Youth Work Ireland Galway will host a Zero Waste Youth Seminar on the 26th of September; and Green-Schools will cycle the city with 200 secondary school students. Community events include a guided ‘Walk of the Boreens’, with the launch of a citizen science project on air quality monitoring; an exhibition celebrating 18 years of Art projects in Terryland Forest Park; and many more to be published in the full programme in August. All events are free.

Speaking about the Festival, Arlene Finn, European Green Leaf Coordinator said, “This festival committee is a unique collaboration featuring a range of organisations, groups and agencies and we are delighted to be working together to deliver a truly unique festival in celebration of all that is wonderful about Galway’s ‘Green and Blue’ spaces - from Blue Flag beaches overlooking Galway Bay, to the intricate canal network, the mighty Corrib river, the lungs of the city in Terryland Forest and Merlin Woods, right down to our own back gardens. The ‘Loving Galway’ festival is a reminder of the need to protect and care for our green and blue spaces so they can continue to be spaces to work, rest, and play, giving us our drinking water, the food we eat and the air we breathe. We invite all those visiting or living in Galway to join in the great programme of free events and help us to celebrate all that is great about our city”.

According to Ann Irwin, Galway City Community Network, “Ultimately the festival is about promoting environmental sustainability in Galway. We must protect our unique biodiversity in Galway city and promote a lifestyle that is friendlier to the environment”.

There is still time for interested organisations to get involved in the festival – either by organising an event (walks, talks, displays, competitions for example), or by taking on actions to celebrate or protect our Green and Blue spaces e.g. reducing single use plastics, planting to support pollination. To register an event, please get in touch with the Steering Group before the end of July 2018. The Steering Group can be contacted through Arlene Finn, Galway City Council, Greenleaf@galwaycity.ie or Ann Irwin, Galway City Community Network, info@galwaycitycommunitynetwork.ie

For updates on the festival, see https://www.facebook.com/LovingGalwayFestival/ 

Visit the City Council website at www.galwaycity.ie/LovingGalway

Or get involved in the conversation on Twitter - @GreenBlueFest