A previously derelict site on St Carthage’s Avenue has gone through a complete makeover over the last 18 months thanks to the successful cooperation between Waterford City and County Council, community garden members and local businesses.
The project kicked off after a call from Mary Quigley, Administration Officer with the Council’s Property Management Department, who was eager to support the proposed project from the very beginning, and who suggested the name of the garden: ‘Top of the City’. Cllr Eamon Quinlan (FF) has been also passionately backing the project from the very beginning, supporting the garden in its rapid development.
Fairybush Landscaping, courtesy of Waterford City and County Council, cleared half of the land that was transformed into a growing area and an oasis of calm and tranquillity. The other half was cleared by passionate volunteers during the first lockdown, providing a safe outdoor space for engaging with nature, organising community events and marketing locally produced breads, eggs and vegetables. ‘The Forgotten Barracks’ – a documentary about the history of the garden, which is located in between the external and internal walls of the old Artillery Barracks, was released by the ‘Top of the City’ members during the Heritage Week in August 2021.
The garden on St Carthage’s Avenue is an example of the most perfect platform for cooperation between local authorities and community members. Anti-social behaviour has been significantly reduced due to the positive response to the project, supported by the cooperation with local Garda Station, who patrolled St Carthage’s Avenue more frequently.
There are plans of developing ‘Top of the City’ Garden even further in order to provide opportunities for the residents of the locality, especially those living in the nearest neighbourhood designated as disadvantaged.
It is a wonderful initiative that is supported by a real belief in the community by the Council. It was my favourite place on Culture Night!