This is Rebekah Keaveny’s bright idea for Greater Leinster.

To match community gardens with schools, clinics and the elderly and where none exist, create them!


There are many garden spaces in Birr Town but few are known and a lot of them lack volunteers.

The Social Soil Network aims to utilise and develop these spaces through a inclusive programme of workshops which are grounded in education, the sharing of knowledge and the social benefits of interaction in a natural setting.

The following are some identified groups who would benefit from workshops in Community Gardens:

  • Some schools following the Green Schools programme lack gardens on their premises. Having access to a nearby community garden would enable pupils to participate in workshops, teaching them about sustainability, pollination, food and health.
  • Elderly people in the town have a vast knowledge of gardening and would benefit from passing on their skills and getting out and meeting people in a social setting that includes a range of people from all generations.
  • The Mental Health Clinic in Birr has been allocated a garden, however resources and materials are limited as to the delivery of suitable activities within the garden.

By participating in workshops and volunteering opportunities, different groups in Birr can work together to create a green legacy.

The Social Soil Network was born out of a need to link the many Community Garden’s available for use or lease in Birr Town to organisations which would benefit from using them. It was also realised that some schools in the town do not have Gardens available to them and yet there are Gardens close by that they could have lessons in.

By working in partnership with Tidy Towns, Birr Municipal Council ( who have awarded the Social Soil Network 500.00 euro ), The Growery Food Co-operative, Birr Mental Health Clinic, Anam Beo ( arts for the elderly), GIY and Green Schools we have the perfect solution to many varied needs from different social groups in the town.

We also have the will and expertise of seasoned care givers, nurses, teachers and environmental educators to deliver our workshops safely and within proper guidelines of health and safety, child protection, volunteering policy and horticultural expertise!

This is an exciting opportunity to merge many people across the generations, working towards a common green goal while providing a way of getting community gardens the gardeners they need in order to grow produce for local people and businesses.