Forming a Local Environmental Network in Leitrim
Are you an individual with an interest in the environment and green issues? Join the Leitrim Local Environmental Network.
Local Environmental Networks (LENs) are being set up all around the country as a place for people to meet, share knowledge, advertise their green events and volunteer opportunities, ask each other questions and share information on everything environmental.
If you want to be part of a new Leitrim LEN please get in touch:
Ph: 087 183 1253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How Do they Work?
Individuals with a passion for environmental issues join to form an LEN. Unlike a single issue group, the LEN is a meeting place for all ideas and callings. It provides a central hub around which people can gather, discuss projects, ask for help, create change and become involved in their local Public Participation Network.
Each LEN is a member group of the county’s PPN.
LENs are voluntary groups. They usually consist of a core group of people who steer the work of the group, and are open for anyone to join in and get involved in any capacity.
LENs usually employ two strategies in order to create change: Grassroots actions and Council engagement. The idea behind these two separate branches is to make an effect from the ground through grassroots actions, while also tackling issues from the top down by engaging with their PPNs. By being a member of their PPN, each LEN provides a platform for people to get involved in local policy creation.
Some LENs, due to the volunteers involved, are more active in one area than the other.
Examples of LEN Actions from Around Ireland
Many LENs have chosen an overarching theme or goal, and is carrying out actions that work towards this theme/goal.
For instance, Roscommon EN has chosen High Nature Value Farming. Every six weeks, they have been visiting a different farm in County Roscommon which is working in an environmentally friendly way. They will use these new contacts and knowledge to host a High Nature Value Farming showcase next Spring.
County Carlow EN has decided to work towards a Zero Waste Carlow. They are beginning with the festivals within Carlow, helping to eliminate the use of single-use plastic at the events, creating awareness and presenting solutions.
Growing a Network
Dublin Community EN has concentrated on growing its network base. It engages in local grassroots work, but also actively builds resources that aim to connect people in Dublin. One project is their Green Calendar, which collates all green events in Dublin in one place, to make it easy for people to see what events are on, and what volunteer opportunities are open. The second project is the beginning of a green directory, which will provide information on voluntary groups that you can get involved with throughout Dublin. This project is still in its infancy.
Other LENs are also involved in growing a network, but have approached it differently. For instance, one of the goals of the events mentioned above is to spread news of the LEN and attract more involvement, while keeping the work of the LEN fun and engaging for all involved.
Working with PPNs:
Many LEN’s work closely with their PPNs.
Galway City is quite a new LEN, but is making huge changes through Galway City PPN. They have a strong core group who get involved in Linkage Group meetings. Galway City EN and PPN recently collaborated to hold the first Sustainability Festival in the City.
Donegal EN and PPN worked together last year to hold an Environmental Showcase, in which 17 local environmental groups came together to display their work to the public. Speakers included Duncan Stewart from Eco-Eye, and the event was held as part of the Youth Week.
Meath EN are very active in their PPN, with many representatives on the PPN committees. They have written a Renewable Energy Strategy for Co. Meath. Recently they hosted a tent at the Royal Meath Show, where they held an exciting series of environmental talks.