Islands in the Street

pg 12 islands in the street - photo by steve kingston

A most worthwhile scheme has been brought to NewFour’s attention – the traffic islands in Donnybrook are being turned into urban gardens. Motorists passing through may have noticed it and wondered what’s going on; NewsFour noticed that the place was looking brighter recently but were unaware of the work that has gone into getting it that way.

We spoke to local community dynamo Sean Brennan, who told us, “the adopt-an-Island is working out well, with Fred Murphy, Tom O’Connells Restaurent, Belmont Neighbourhood Group (ourselves) and Kiely’s all taking part so far.”

The scheme couldn’t be easier to engage with and Brennan went on to tell us, “the idea is that Donnybrook Tidy Towns along with Dublin City Council will provide planters, soil, plants etc and plonk them onto one of the traffic islands in the Village. By choosing to adopt the island you agree to just visit the island during the four seasons, bring your bucket and spade or watercan full of water and garden hand tool to extradite any unwanted guests (i.e. weeds). In return, the island will be known as the adoptee island, e.g. Fred’s Island.”

Island adopter Fred Murphy told NewsFour, “I never had a green finger until Sean mentioned it to me. Now I wouldn’t give it up. It’s very rewarding to see it every time I pass and it makes you appreciate the things others do to improve their area, even if it’s an awareness of what they do with their gardens.” We asked if he would encourage others to do the same. “Yes, definitely! DCC have made it really easy and straightforward.”

The idea is growing all over the world, with many living in cities having nowhere to exercise their green fingers. In the USA, citizens of Washington DC even have a traffic island that is converted into a rain garden. It captures polluted storm water that runs off the surrounding roads. The soil and plants retain and filter the water.

“There are a good few more islands stretching from Donnybrook Church quadrant to the bottom of Morehampton Road that will be inhabited over the coming weeks / months, so we’re looking out for anyone else to adopt a concrete patch and help us turn it into a jungle,” Brennan informed us.

If you’d like to get involved you can contact DCC for more details.

By Steve Kingston