Rivers trusts are charities, established by local people to look…
Community clean up of the St Johns River, Waterford
This article and accompanying photos were submitted by Mark Hosford, River Project Coordinator, Déise Natureways.
Community spirit is alive and well in Waterford city.
On Saturday 29th September a diverse collection of community groups and volunteers from the local area came together to conduct a much needed clean up of the St John’s River. The St. John’s River flows past the Kilbarry Marsh an important natural heritage area on the outskirts of the city, through the heart of the City before joining the River Suir at Scotch Quay. The river acts as a wildlife corridor between these two important habitats and has historical and cultural significance, but in recent years it has grown increasingly congested due to illegal dumping.
The need for this clean up was recognised by the River Suir Group which is a collection of citizens and community groups including the Friends of the St. John’s River, that emerged out of a public meeting about the Suir and its tributaries that was held by the Local Authority Waters and Communities office.
One section of the river, between Hardy’s Bridge by the Peoples Park and John’s Bridge, was identified as being in need of cleaning as it was particularly badly effected by the dumping and also very visible to the public. The clean up was a collaborative effort involving members of the River Suir Group, Waterford Civil Defence, the Naval Reserve, Friends of the St. John’s River, Waterford City and County Council and Dèise Natureways. On the day, 20 or so hard working volunteers with the support of the City and County Council managed to remove a lorry load of rubbish from the river, including several car batteries, tyres, traffic cones, bikes, scooters and shopping trolleys.
This event, organised by Mark Hosford of Dèise Natureways and Cllr. Eddie Mulligan, is the first in a series of clean up events and other projects which will be organised by the River Suir Group.
A second clean up event took place on Saturday the 26th of November and tackled a section of the river near Poleberry in the city centre.