Cloughanover National School is located close to the shores of Lough Corrib, a Special Area of Conservation and home to a wide variety of unique native Irish flora, including a great diversity of medicinal and edible plants.
The objective of this Artist in Schools project, funded by Galway County Council and led by the Galway artist Marina Levitina, was to raise awareness of the children in Junior & Senior Infants class, and in 1st and 2nd class at Cloughanover national school about the importance of our plant lore and natural heritage, through creative workshops that included storytelling, visual arts, cooking, and film-making. As part of the project, the children visited Keekil Pier and learned to identify native plants growing on the shores of Lough Corrib. The children also learned how to incorporate edible plants of the Galway countryside as healthy, safe and sustainable seasonal food: they learned to make Dandelion honey, Dogrose chocolates, Elderflower cordial, and Meadowsweet tea, while also learning film-making skills.
As a result of the project, the children gained a deeper appreciation of the unique local flora, while becoming the stewards of their landscape. Together with the artist and with the support of their teachers, Regina Leamy and Deborah Mannion, they documented the unique flora of Cloughanover-Keekil area in a short film, “Plant Guardians of Keekil Pier”, as well as in several books of drawings.