Jade O'Connor and Jane Gillicuddy, 4th Year B.Ed. Students, Mary Immaculate College, plant An Choill Bheag
A LIMERICK college have become the first third-level institution to receive An Choill Bheag from LEAF Ireland.
Planting a Choill Bheag (small wood) on the grounds of Mary Immaculate College will create a small, dense native woodland habitat for biodiversity and an educational and recreational resource for the whole college community to enjoy.
As part of the project, student teachers have attended forest-based workshops in Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park, where they were shown a variety of different ways that the outdoors can be used to educate children in all curricular areas.
This woodland habitat will provide an on-site educational and recreational resource for the whole college community, enabling students to participate in Citizen Science, Woodland Skills, Nature Connection and Wellbeing.
Most importantly, the student teachers will be shown how to use this outdoor space to teach many other subjects, such as Gaeilge, Geography, History and Art, transforming the Choill Bheag into a Living Classroom.
Dr. Anne Dolan, lecturer at Mary Immaculate College said: "Student teachers will have an opportunity to learn about native Irish Trees through planting, observation, and continued engagement with An Choill Bheag.
"As primary teachers, they will be well equipped to teach children about the joy and wonder of Irish Trees. Mary Immaculate College is committed to education for sustainability.
"An Choill Bheag is an important climate action for the college, and it also serves as a resource for teaching about the importance of biodiversity. We are hopeful that partnership with LEAF Ireland will develop as our Choill Bheag becomes an important educational resource for students and staff."
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