I’m in southern Ireland, driving along the scenic coast and peninsulas (one peninsula to the south of the Ring of Kerry). With me are my daughter and tour guide. Our guide is a Lincoln Irish man who impresses us with his stick shift driving on the wrong side of the road while readily reading Gaelic road signs.
We are so remote, near Eyeries, County Cork, that amidst some of the most jaw-dropping scenery is a jaw-dropping warning sign of a car going over a cliff. I didn’t need a Gaelic interpreter to get that one.
But I did see signs that required some English explanation. In the towns of Clonakilty and Kinsale, County Cork, and in Listowel, Sneem, Kenmare, County Kerry and Dalkey, County Dublin, the towns have signs, plaques and monuments to something called “TidyTowns.” I asked our guide, who is getting reacquainted with the Irish brogue of his youth, but now with a Lincolnite accent, what is a TidyTown besides a great alliteration?
TidyTowns, or "Bailte Slachtmhara" for all you Gaelic speakers, is an annual competition started in 1958 to honor the tidiest and most attractive cities, towns and villages in Ireland. Winning is a big deal. There are rules and requirements such as completing a five-year plan, landscaping, wildlife and natural amenities, litter control and, of course, “tidiness.” There are different categories for town sizes. In 2018, a record 883 towns and villages submitted applications. Given the level of submissions, I suspect it’s more an issue of civic pride. There are cash prizes to the winners, but I haven’t been able to easily find the amounts.
Since that trip to Ireland, when driving through a small Nebraska town or village, I wonder if a Nebraska TidyTown would work. We do have our fair share of towns and villages with civic pride. So how about it mayors ... what would you do to win the TidyTowns of Nebraska award?
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Katie Pocras, MBA, Associate Broker
Location Real Estate