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Oct 15


Posted on Monday, October 15, 2007 in Uncategorized

Blog action day… I’m all for it, and I hope it’s effects are felt.

I’m a bit squished for time today, however, and though I’d love to go into my thoughts on environmental issues, instead I thought I’d dedicate this post to a wonderful woman that I met at a ‘Clean Coast’ seminar recently.

Corey Bateman is both litter and traffic warden in Arklow, Co. Wicklow.  She is one of the most overworked and underpaid people I know, but this doesn’t seem to bother her.  Her enthusiasm for local issues, especially pertaining to the environmental stuff is truly inspirational.  In the brief time I got to speak to her, I learned of the following projects undertaken by her for the benefit of her home town:

– She organised a clean-up lately and invited the residents of Sunbeam house (a local respite center for people with learning disabilities) who were, by all accounts, a forgotten group in the community.  She gave them a chance to hang out together and have a laugh while contributing to the community in a very admirable way.  The photographs of this litter collection effort are wonderful, a great day was had by everyone involved.

– She found that there were certain ‘run-down’ areas in Arklow which needed cheering up.  She initiated an effort to have beautiful and elaborate wall-murals painted which depict various scenes from history, thus creating a pride in the community and a wonderful tourist attraction.  She also got her hands on a beat-up rotting boat, painted it, and erected it as a monument.  She approached the local prison and asked them for any spare flowers or plants they may have from their garden nurseries.  They supplied so many plants, that she and her volunteer collegues had to work late into the night so that by morning, the grounds were awash with colour and beauty, completely transforming this previously depressing empty patch of land.

– She tackles dumping issues… she showed me before and after photographs of a small green in the centre of a housing estate.  With very little funding, she managed to have the green cleared, then mangaged to (bravely!) travel from house to house and rally enthusiasm for a clean living area.  Very dishearteningly, when the area was cleaned, more junk arrived pretty much immediately.  This didn’t deter Corey, she asked the local residents for their help, and community awareness flourished. 

-She organises treasure hunts for children, with no personal motivation other than the fact that she feels that kids need to feel more of a connection with their natural environment.  Her last effort drew more than 200 people, and the day became an enormous success.  It’s a wonderful thing to have a child tell you in excited tones that he can show you a squirrel’s house in a tree, or to have him show off his knowledge of tree names and duck species!

– Corey is a lady who loves to spread enthusiasm.  She gave me amazing ideas for fundraising, and explained that a person’s living area can be dolled up with very little funding needed.  She told me how to approach garden centres and local community figures to ask for freebies, and to feel no shame in doing so.  She told me that an effort only seems complicated because community spirits are low.  Once their enthusiasm is burning, there are no ends to what can be achieved.  She can be regularily heard on the local radio station doing just this… advertising local efforts and instilling a pride in the community.

– She regularly visits schools and involves them in various environmental issues, cleverly knowing that educating the children of this world is the best way to nurture an environmentally cleaner future.

Kudos to you, Corey, and to the volunteers and Council members who work with you to make your town a better and prouder place to live in.  The world needs more people like you, and I hope your enthusiasm infects all who cross your path. 

Bring on the comments

  1. Grannymar says:

    Mother Theresa of the wasteland!

    She sounds like a wonderful woman.

  2. Baino says:

    She sounds very deserving of your admiration and support K8 we all need a Corey in our community.

  3. janet says:

    Wow! That’s great. Way to go Corey.

  4. Nonny says:

    I like what you did with the post, original I must say. Well done to Corey.

  5. AnonyBird says:

    I’m here visiting from Baino’s :) This is a great post for Blog Action Day and people need infections like Coreys!

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