Calasanctius College Biodiversity
Students make space for nature in Oranmore
Calasanctius College Biodiversity group started in 2011 when we got involved in ‘Communities working together for Nature’. We were lucky to be one of nine community groups from Galway to be choosen to work on producing a three year Biodiversity action Plan and the first school to get involved.
As a result of being involved we developed a close working relationship with Marie Mannion, Galway County Council, Elaine O’Riordan, NUIG, Janice Fuller, consultant ecologist and Margaret McNulty, Oranmore Tidy Towns. We have been offered the chance to get involved in a wide range of activities from bird watching, tree planting, willow sculptures, turning an unused area in the village into a wildlife garden and a graveyard project to mention just a few. We have had access to a wide range of speakers and workshops.
We have taken and hopefully made the most of every opportunity we have been given along the way. Having completed our first plan we are now working on a follow up plan for the next three years with an emphasis on pollinators and wildflowers.
We were delighted to have reached been shortlisted one year and then win The Cathaoitleacht’s Community Awards in 2014. One of the best outcomes of being involved in these projects has been the close working relationship that we have developed with Oranmore Tidy Towns. This is has been to the benefit of all involved.
Calasanctius school community has embraced the Biodiversity theme and it is now very much cross curricular in nature. We work hand in hand with the Green Schools group and the Biodiversity flag is now one of seven green school flags that have been awarded to Calasanctius College. The art department choose a theme each year for their first year 3D models project. This year it is pollinators. The MGLD class and Home Economics classes have worked on a variety of projects for feeding the birds. Science classes are making nesting boxes and feeders for bees.
How could you help us? We have entered The Young Environmentalists 2017 with a project on wildflowers and bees. Would you plant 1m² of Irish wildflowers for the bees but don’t forget the caterpillars. Two easy plants to grow for them are cabbage or nasturtiums. Why don’t you follow us on our Calasanctius Biodiversity/Green Schools facebook page where we will be updating you with simple ideas to help the bees and pollinators. You could PM us on facebook if you would like to plant some wildflowers this spring or email us on email@example.com .
Finally many thanks to all who have helped us since the start of the project. A special thank to Elaine and Lorcan for giving us two very informative talks that got us started this year, to Margaret and Tidy Towns for their continued support and to our principal Córa Ní Loinsigh who has always fully supported our project.