A Tidy Towns judge looks for…

What a judge looks out for in an evolving/developing Tidy Towns program

Preferable if a community has a Tidy Town’s group or coordinating committee. Could be an existing group, eg, Chamber of Commerce, Progress Association, etc.

A Tidy Towns Committee belongs to the community. It can be as simple or as complex to meet the needs of the community’s objectives.

Important that all community sectors are given the opportunity to be involved and also encouraged to participate in order to develop a sense of pride and community ownership in town developments.

Community networks

Community group involvement is important to:

  • develop and implement innovative projects related to environmental quality, litter control, local government beautification, heritage restoration, and
  • broaden the environmental impact of a Tidy Towns program by including established groups such as Landcare, Watercare, Coastcare, etc. Other groups may include community service organisations, sporting clubs, church and social groups.

 Partnerships with Local Government

Important to the success of a Tidy Towns program by:

  • providing assistance (human and financial resources) and guidance to all groups working within the program, and
  • liaising with Shire/Council staff, community groups and schools in a coordinating and monitoring role to ensure tasks are completed.

School/youth participation

For a Tidy Towns program to be sustainable, youth participation within a community is essential. Encourage this by:

  • working with educational system to ensure environmental education programs are initiated to enable good environmental practice to be taught throughout all levels of education within a community. It could start off as a simple anti-litter program or school and community beautification,
  • forming a junior Tidy Towns or environmental committee within a school system to provide future ambassadors for environmental action,
  • providing a vehicle to distribute ideas and information regarding environmental initiatives through family networks, and
  • active schools generally reflect active communities.

Business/industry involvement

Important to champion the cause for a community. (Good ‘corporate citizen’ approach)

  • Business and industry are often able to analyse environmental challenges and opportunities and have the resources to initiate positive action and alliances.
  • Ability to lead the way in initiating and maintaining beautification projects within commercial areas as well as the general community.

What types of projects?

 Examples of projects involved in a Tidy Towns program:

  • Improving town approaches
  • Developing reserves
  • Adopt-a-road, verge, park, round-about, etc.
  • Community clean ups
  • Revegetation/tree planting activities
  • Street banners, window displays
  • Developing/promoting tourist attractions/facilities
  • Garden/Tidy Street competitions
  • Home/yard improvement for elderly residents
  • Collecting and disposing of abandoned car bodies
  • Providing civic facilities, e.g. seats, shelters, BBQ’s, playgrounds, etc.
  • Distributing litter bags and assisting with adopting waste-free outdoor events
  • Encouraging environmental education programs in schools
  • Initiating environmental education displays in shopping centres, field days, etc.
  • Recycling programs, improved waste collection, resource recovery initiatives
  • Reuse of waste programs
  • Developing wildlife vegetation corridors
  • Ban plastic shopping bags
  • Promoting water conservation initiatives
  • Arrange waterwise native garden models
  • Restoring historic buildings
  • Organising heritage and cultural activities
  • Indigenous partnerships
  • Climate Change awareness and education.

Conclusion

  • Participation –encouraging and enthusing a community to initiate ways to improve their ‘own patch’.
  • Civic Pride – as a result of participation, a community can develop increased community pride and raised self-esteem and as a result, derive immeasurable benefits.
  • Quality of life – participation, persistence and pride will ensure a raised quality of life for a sustainable community and the long term benefit of the nation.