Green-fingered pupils at Limerick school get thumbs up from Mayor

Green-fingered pupils at Limerick school get thumbs up from Mayor

Mayor Michael Collins officially opening the Ahane NS biodiversity garden watched by Siobhan Kennedy, principal and sixth class pupils

MAYOR of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Michael Collins, has officially opened the new biodiversity garden at Ahane National School in Lisnagry.

Mayor Collins was welcomed to the school and cut a recycled environmentally-friendly ribbon made by the pupils of Second Class who were thrilled to have a VIP visiting their school - particularly in Covid times.

Over the last number of weeks, the school community – children, parents and teachers - have worked together to create an outdoor learning space described as ‘a labour of love’ by principal Siobhan Kennedy. 

Pupils at the school are growing cabbage, potatoes, lettuce, peas, onions and leeks in raised beds as well as a selection of herbs including mint, sage, parsley, chives and oregano with wild strawberries, raspberries and apple tree plants also set to bloom. 

The wild flower garden is also home to a pair of bug hotels and a nesting bird house made by the pupils as well as bee friendly ‘Cool Cups’ and a colourful fairy garden.

The Mayor was shown around garden by three sixth class pupils - Isabelle Collins, Aoife Holland and Cara Nally - representing all pupils who are working hard towards securing a Green Flag for the school.

The creation and development of the school garden was co-ordinated by second class teacher Therese Tuohey and Ms Kennedy.

“The garden is part of work ongoing in the school to promote biodiversity and supporting Limerick as a European Green Leaf City,” Siobhan Kennedy explained. “Much of what has taken place in the garden has been incorporated into lessons in the classroom - from seed planting to learning why biodiversity is so important. The garden has a sensory theme to it, we’re growing herbs for scent and it is now a haven of peace and tranquillity and will be used as an extension of the classroom environment for learning and storytelling. We are enjoying the many positive benefits of creating and caring for our school garden and are delighted that the Mayor took time to visit us and support our development of this garden space,” she added.

Parents have supported the initiative by donating a series of weather friendly images of birds which have been placed around the garden walls. They have also donated seeds, plants, herbs, garden ornaments and furniture to help it flourish into the summer months.

Congratulating the school on its beautiful new outdoor classroom, Mayor Collins said: “I am really impressed by how knowledgeable and interested the children are in their environment, climate change and protecting it for the generations ahead.”

He added: "It was lovely to see how much care and attention the children, parents and teachers have put into the garden and I look forward to returning to Ahane National School when it receives its green flag.”

For more information, see ahanens.ie or follow the school on Twitter.

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