Culture & Heritage
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Each community is unique in their own special way. But have we taken the time to have a conversation about what we understand by our culture and heritage and why this is important? This section will look at ways to explore the integrity of what is special about your place, so that when faced with difficult decisions, that your community will know what you are willing to accept.
What is unique and special about our community? What local heritage is there? Are there significant moments in the history of our community?
If we are faced with threats – such as mining, incinerators, big multinationals coming into our community – how do we feel about this? What are the implications of such industries arriving here?
Investigate (along with staff, volunteers, service users) what is unique about your particular area (e.g. history, cultural, heritage) and make plans to link this with what is already happening through your community or it could be a new initiative.
Sign up to the Citizen Science Initiative
Promote and encourage people locally to sign up to Citizen Science initiative and encourage members of your community to contribute to generating data on wildlife, birds, etc. http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/ and from the EPA: http://www.epa.ie/irelandsenvironment/getinvolved/citizenscience/
Say what you love about your natural area
Link in with: https://www.foeeurope.org/natures-keepers
Draw attention to nature!
Organise a monthly bird watching morning/ wildflower walk/ other activity to draw attention to nature – if there is no one with local knowledge on these issues there are lots of online apps to assist with this!
Celebrate your heritage
Celebrate your local heritage by having an exhibition or running a festival.
Share a meal
Sign up to Street Feast and contribute to a 'Politics of Belonging' in your local area. Street Feast is one example of a national initiative that encourages connections between people living in the same neighbourhoods - one day where everyone in the community comes together to create a shared local lunch across Ireland on a set Sunday usually in June, hosted by you and your neighbours.
Bring vacant spaces in your community to life
There are loads of creative ways to bring vacant and unused spaces to life with a focus on sustainability. Check out the great work carried out by www.upstart.ie - they worked with Dublin City Council, planners, architects, landscape architects, designers, research and education groups and the local community to make a pop-up community park happen that hosted music, food and events.
Reclaim old buildings
Identify disused buildings in your community and investigate if they could be repurposed as community spaces.
Research street names
Research local street names and create wall plaques for ones of significant local interest.
Support campaigns against unsustainable development
Learn about positive examples of sustainable communities.
Visit your local library and find out about your local history
For more information, visit: https://www.librariesireland.ie/culture-and-local-history
Contact the heritage officer in your local authority to find out about upcoming events and initiatives
Visit the Heritage Council of Ireland website for a list of county heritage officers.
Nature Keepers: http://www.natures-keepers.org/northernireland/
Peace Trails in Ireland – INNATE non violence: http://www.innatenonviolence.org/trails/index.shtml
Afri (Action from Ireland) Famine Walks:
See the Ballyhoura Development Ltd. website for ideas of Culture, heritage and genealogy projects such as Ireland Reaching Out, The Gathering, Historic Graves and local genealogy projects: