Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has today announced that an additional four community groups in Derry will receive support from the Department of the Environment’s (DOE) Challenge Fund.
The Minister is allocating around £31,000 to be shared out between the four groups.
The DOE’s Challenge Fund is made up from money raised through the plastic bag levy in the North.
Creggan Country Park’s Boosting Biodiversity project will bring community groups, schools and families together to make a positive impact on local priority species and habitats at Creggan Country Park.
The Greater Shantallow Area Partnership will receive a funding boost for their Bay Road Park Local Nature Reserve Project.
The project will produce a landscape plan for the entrance of the Local Nature Reserve (LNR), an updated habitat survey, the creation of a five year management plan for the LNR and an education programme will be delivered to 15 primary schools.
The Rainbow Project in Derry will see four volunteers from the LGBT community develop two allotment sites.
The Something Special community group in Eglinton will receive funding for the development of a ‘community digital garden’ from a derelict site.
Making the announcement, Mark H Durkan said: “This is a further boost for those in our community who work tirelessly and imaginatively to improve our environment for everyone.
“When the DOE’s Challenge Fund’s ‘Community Action’ stream closed at the end of June, over 130 applications had been received from throughout the North. The majority of these were of an exceptionally high standard. I was truly blown away by the proposals from community groups to support their local environment.
“In August I announced support for 33 of these initiatives, seven from the Derry area.
“It is good news that my department is in a position to support another four community groups in Derry. I commend all of the many volunteers, young and not so young for their enthusiasm to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in to the protection and enhancement of our shared environment. I am looking forward to seeing the fruit of their labour in the coming months.”
The Minister continued: “Since the 5p levy on carrier bags was introduced I have ensured the very communities who pay it have experienced the benefits. The Challenge Fund is one way of doing that, whilst also delivering tangible environmental improvement on the ground, at a grass-roots level.”