County Carlow Environmental Network began in the summer of 2018
In 2018, Catherine O’Toole, Development Officer of the Irish Environmental Network came to Carlow to help begin a County Carlow Environmental Network (CCEN): Creating a Sustainable Future group. Catherine was working with various volunteers around the country to set up Local Environmental Networks in counties where there were none.
An invitation to County Carlow residents who had an interest in environmental concerns was issued and the first meeting was held on the 10th July 2018 at the Askea Community Centre in Carlow.
Since then, there has been an enthusiastic group that has been meeting online on the first Tuesday of the month, 7pm to 9pm and in person at various events and environmental film festivals. The meetings are open to all and free and all are welcome.
After the initial meeting, a committee was established and a programme of activities was organised throughout the County in 2019, which began with helping Carlow’s festivals become greener. During 2020 we continued with this theme, as well as worked in partnership with the Visual Arts Theatre in Carlow Town to show a series of uplifting or informative environmental films. The film series continued during 2022/23 where we partnered with Wexford and Kildare Environmental Networks.
During the summer of 2021 we held a successful open air get together where Carlow Beekeepers enthralled us with stories about Bees, we ate pizza from the Cob Oven and shared tea and cake with community members, and talked about all things environment and collaboration.
During April 2023 we hosted a popular public screening of The Letter – A Message for our Earth in An Gairdin Beo and fired up the pizza oven once more, to share food and conversations. We feel it’s important to reach out to all communities to raise awareness of the Climate Crisis.
In the Autumn/Winter of 2023 we started our #EatLocal campaign, bringing together food producers and the local community to look at and discuss how a dynamic, functional, thriving and resilient food system might work in County Carlow. Taking place in Carlow town, Tullow and Muinebheag, we are aiming to create synergies and linkages throughout our County.
Are you interested in making County Carlow sustainable and beautiful for all? We’d love to have your input and ideas. Getting involved in actions helps deal with the overwhelm of depressing environmental news. If we bring our various skills and knowledge together, our actions for change become even more powerful.