The key objective of the Horticultural Histories and Heritage Trails project is to foster engagement in environmental sustainability actions across the 5 DCU campuses. In 1883 the Albert College Agricultural College was established on what is now the Dublin City University campus. A primary focus of the College at that time was to investigate the cause of potato blight, which had been a significant factor in the Great Irish Famine (an Gorta Mór) leading to the death of between 20 – 25% of the Irish population (circa 1 million people) between 1845 and 1852. While today DCU has a significantly different remit, there are continued strong links with the National Botanical Gardens, located close by, with both institutions jointly offering a degree in Horticulture.
The original RCE Dublin project focused on the development and usage of the community gardens located on DCU Glasnevin campus, and the work-to-date has seen significant cultivation of the gardens, with vegetable produce available for purchase during the Summer and Autumn months each year. It is anticipated that a men’s shed will be completed in 2019, which will further enhance community engagement on site at the community gardens. DCU expanded from a single campus to a multi campus in 2016. Therefore, in the second phase of this project from 2019-2022, there is a new focus on the promotion of heritage trails within and connecting across the main four campuses. In doing so, staff, students and visitors will be introduced to the wild flora and fauna and associated histories of each campus of Dublin City University. The project is being led by DCU, with other RCE Dublin members (such as An Taisce and Dublin City Council) partnering in the development of the enterprise.
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