First third level Community Food Project at IT Sligo


IT Sligo Environmental Science students are leading the way with the first ‘Community Food Project’ in an Irish third level institution.

The ‘Community Food Project’ was coordinated by Environmental Science student Ruth Hegarty from Strandhill, Co. Sligo as part of her final year project for a B.Sc. Honours Degree in Environmental Science.  The project was assisted by Patrick McLoughlin, Chairman of IT Sligo’s Environmental Society, who is from Mountbellew, Co. Galway.

Involved in the project are IT Sligo’s Environmental Society, the Organic Centre in Rossinver and HSE North West.

Ruth Hegarty said that the project is helping to increase environmental awareness amongst staff and students at IT Sligo; “We are working to move the college in the direction of a ‘green campus’. The ‘Community Food Project’ is located on campus and it provides an opportunity for staff and students to learn the necessary skills to grow their own fruit and vegetables”.

A barbeque hosted by the Environmental Society at the garden recently was attended by the President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, Senior Medical Officer with HSE North West and author of “Irish Seaweed Kitchen”, Dr Prannie Rhatigan, and Joint Manager of the Organic Centre in Rossinver, Hans Wieland.

Professor Terri Scott complimented the students on the success of the project and said that they serve as great ambassadors for IT Sligo.

Dr. Prannie Rhatigan congratulated the students and the CFP participants on the success of the gardening project, using organic principles.

Hans Wieland said he was delighted with the success of the CFP at IT Sligo.  Remarking that IT Sligo is the first third level institution in Ireland to have a ‘Community Food Project’ on campus, he said that every school and college in Ireland should have a community garden and that IT Sligo could serve as a blueprint for such a project going forward.  He also confirmed that the Organic Centre would continue to support the CFP at IT Sligo into the future.

Food for the BBQ celebration was provided by the ‘Community Food Project’ participants, using the organic produce from the community garden and meat was supplied by Robert Sherlock Butchers, Ballisodare, Co. Sligo.  Entertainment was provided by IT Sligo student band “Feedback”.


From left to right at the Community Food Project at IT Sligo are Chairman of IT Sligo’s Environmental Society, Patrick McLoughlin from Mountbellew, Co Galway; President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott; and Ruth Hegarty, IT Sligo Environmental Science graduate, from Strandhill, Co Sligo.