15th December 2011
Our end of year celebration of the inspired work that has enriched Cork’s environment. Awards for Community & Voluntary, Business & Commercial, Public Sector, Individuals, and Cork County’s Best Community Garden at the Firkin Crane, Shandon.
Photos by Andy Ferreira
One of our most popular and enduring projects… the CEF annual awards celebrate the work and stories of Cork’s unsung heroes. This year we acknowledged all previous award winners and our 1st ever recipient of an award, Mr Noel Dillon, kindly participated in the ceremony. A special thanks also to Michael Hobbs, CEF Chairperson, who films, edits and produces excellent clips that provide a flavour of each category winner. Congratulations to all of our winners, and we wish them all continuing success with their inspirational projects.
Each year, since it was established in 2001, the CEF Environmental Awards honour the sometimes little known actions of groups, organisations and individuals around the county that have contributed to the health or richness of the Cork environment. The awards are split into different categories according to different pillars of society and nominations are accepted from CEF members for actions that are in keeping with the spirit of sustainable development and community resilience. CEF introduced the Cork County Community Garden Award in 2010 which was continued this year.
Each of the winners, pictured above, was presented with a magnificent sculpture (commissioned from Hortisculptures, Coomhola) featuring original pieces of Bog Pine set on a stone plinth and framed certificate. The winning Community Garden will also host a larger sculptural piece for the next 12 months. If you get an opportunity during the year do call in to see it at the wonderful community garden at Haven Bay Care Centre, Kinsale.
Special guests included Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr. Ken O’Flynn, Deputy Mayor of the County, Cllr. Pat Burton, Kevin Santry, West Cork Development Partnership, Aidan Quinlan, Rothar Cycles, Dermot Carroll, Nano Nagle Centre and Aimi Pinder, Kinsale Green Growers who presented the awards to our winners.
Dr. Colin Sage was the winner of the Outstanding Individual Award for his book Environment and Food. This publication is the result of a lifetime of interest and work in examining how food is produced and consumed and how this impacts on the environment. Jennifer Franklin in her introduction referred to the questioning platform of ideas particularly regarding the footprint of our life choices that Colin has highlighted over many years. Kevin Santry in presenting the award referred to the role WCDP has in supporting local food production and the importance of a publication such as this in informing and building understanding of the importance of local food production.
Cork City Council Transportation Division took the prize in the Public Sector category this year. Daren McAdam O’Connell in introducing the award referred to the manner in which the Transportation Division had embraced policies and put in place initiatives that were helping to develop and deliver a more sustainable framework of transport options in the city, including Trendy Travel, the Cork Walks and the added value initiative with the colleges. Sarah Danaher on behalf of the rest of the Transportation Division team of Ian Winning, Anita Lenihan, Noel Tummon and Niamh O’Brien accepted the award from Aidan Quinlan, Rothar Cycles.
The Future Orchard project in Glanmire was the winner in the Business & Commercial category this year. This project was set up as a small scale ecological enterprise, using a model that rejects the need for loans, capital investment or any dependency on grants. Working sensitively with the land, the aim was the creation of wealth by security of tenure under collective ownership. Michael Hobbs in presenting the award highlighted the approach which is based on co-operation and equity.
This year’s Voluntary and Community Award went to Transition Cork City’s Fruitfull Community Apple Project. Conor McManus mentioned the vision this initiative displays in harnessing a resource which otherwise would have been wasted. Taking fruit that was readily available from trees and orchards in the city and making use of it as a juice. Aside from reducing the amount of apples rotting there was the positive social spin-off with new connections made with city gardeners.
This year’s Community Garden Award winner was Haven Bay Care Centre in Kinsale. This garden grew out of what was originally an indoor garden club. Jim, the head gardener with the help of a resident stone mason, and some permaculture students designed and created what is now a wonderful productive outdoor garden. It is a space for people to enjoy the fresh air and get involved in the garden if they wish, there are also strong links with the wider community with the community school students also lending a hand.
Noel Dillion gave a most inspiring and motivational speech on the topic of sustainability. Speaking in the broader context, referring to the recent talks in Durban and the challenges that we all face in delivering the actions needed to address the big issues