The Waters and Communities Special Award is open for 2021 with a closing date for receipt of applications of Friday, 23rd July. The Award is part of the overall SuperValu TidyTowns competition.

It was first introduced in 2017 and is now a regular feature in the TidyTowns calendar.As we know, the TidyTowns competition was not held in 2020 because of COVID-19. This was a blow to community volunteers and groups working to improve their local environment.

We invite applicants for the Award this year to tell us how their community appreciated the value of a local stream, river, estuary, canal, lake, or beach during the pandemic. We are especially interested in innovative water initiatives around a local waterbody. In previous years, the range of community initiatives has been impressive. Examples include clean-ups, provision or upgrading of public amenities, conservation of biodiversity and heritage, citizen science, promotion of angling, local education and awareness raising initiatives.

A panel of judges appointed by Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland, and the Local Authority Waters Programme will assess each application under the following headings:

  1. Awareness raising (15 Marks)
  2. Community involvement (20 Marks)
  3. Stakeholder engagement (15 Marks)
  4. Project benefits (40 Marks)
  5. Lessons learned and plans for the future (10 Marks)

The Waters and Communities Special Award is open to all community groups. Inland Fisheries Ireland, Waterways Ireland, and the Local Authority Waters Programme support the award with funding. The prize fund of €7,000 is divided across the four regions for the TidyTowns competition. The overall winning group will receive €2,000 to support their local initiatives.

To read about previous winners of the Waters and Communities Special Awards see: Catchments.ie

The Application form and details of other special awards are available on the TidyTowns website: Tidy Towns Applicaton Form or can be downloaded here

We wish you the best of luck and we look forward to reading your entry.