ALL systems are go in Ballincollig in preparation for this year’s Tidy Towns competition.
Ballincollig has a rich history in the competition, picking up several awards including ten gold medals.
Ballincollig’s submission will be sent towards the end of May, in time for the judication which takes place over the summer months.
Chairman, Tom Butler believes pride is the biggest factor for committee members and volunteers.
“One thing that everybody involved in Tidy Towns in Ballincollig has is pride.
“Pride is the only thing we get out of it, pride in what we do and pride in our community.” Ballincollig’s Tidy Town has over 40 committee members and more than 70 volunteers.
“My philosophy is that every single one of us involved in Tidy Towns are pieces of a jigsaw. As you know, every piece is as important as the next one because if you don’t have all the pieces, you won’t get the full picture.
“We do everything professionally, and we do it for the future generations,” Tom added.
Although winning the prestigious Tidy Town’s award would be a massive coup for the Cork town, it isn’t the primary goal at the beginning of each campaign.
“We go out there to do our best, and by doing our best we’ve improved and brought new ideas to the place.
“It’s not just about planting flowers anymore. It’s about sustainability and biodiversity.
"We’re always planning, and we’ve had two meetings already this year. We’re looking to see what we can do better and how can we get more people involved.” The Tidy Town’s committee are taking advantage of their environment by collecting leaves to use as compost and harvesting over 17,000 litres of water via the school roof.
The successful Tidy Town’s campaigns over the years has played a role in making Ballincollig an attractive place to live in Cork.
“If you look at Ballincollog, we’re situated on the N22 on the Ballincollig bypass and from February next year, when you leave Ballincollig, you won’t see a traffic light until you get to Belfast. It’s a dual carriageway the whole way.
“If you want to go to Cork Airport, you’re only 10-15 minutes away. The railway station is maybe 20 minutes away, the Ferries are 25 minutes away. You have UCC, MTU and hospitals about 15 minutes away.
"Not even mentioning the fantastic rural setting. You have Regional Park, which is 55% under trees and over 134 acres as well as the River Lee running beside us, Tom added.” The Ballincollig Tidy Towns team is open to everyone, regardless of skills level or limited time to volunteer.
“Tidy Towns volunteering isn’t just about picking up litter. You might find someone with a skill that might be beneficial in some way."
If you wish to get involved in Ballincollig Tidy Towns, visit their Facebook page.