Nurture Nature, Kilkenny City Primary Schools asked to take small actions to boost Biodiversity
Keep Kilkenny Beautiful in collaboration with Kilkenny County Council has devised a new school programme to celebrate their recent achievements in the National Tidy Towns competition. Kilkenny City improved their score by twelve marks and were only two marks behind the national winners.
Chairperson of Keep Kilkenny Beautiful Maria Dollard, said “our committee was thrilled at what we achieved. We partner with numerous organisations throughout the year and we’ve an expanding volunteer base which has led to a huge volume of work being done to improve the City.
We have a biodiversity sub group working on specific projects to nuture nature in the City and we are delighted to partner with the Environmental Awareness Officer and the Council’s Heritage Office to bring a special opportunity to primary schools across Kilkenny City and we would also welcome any after-schools group to get involved as well”.
No matter what size of outdoor space a school or community group has available, little actions can help nature. We are encouraging schools and after school facilities to pledge to complete three actions for biodiversity over the next 6 months. Simple ideas like;
- Providing a bird bath so birds have a water source throughout the year
- Feeding birds and putting up a bird ID charts in the classroom to enable pupils to recognise visiting birds
- Going on seasonal nature walk to explore the local green spaces
- Leaving a small portion of the school green area untidy as this can often be a refuge for wildlife
- Make a log pile for mini-beasts
- Asking the caretaker to delay the first grass cut of 2024 until the dandelions have finished flowering (late March), as dandelions are a great early food source for pollinators.
There are lots of ideas in “Gardening for Biodiversity’ publication that will be made available from the Heritage Office to participating schools and there is a website dedicated to promote pollinators which has a special resource for schools on www.pollinators.ie.
Schools and afterschool groups who make a pledge to complete three actions over the next 6 months will receive a small number of pollinator plants, grown locally from the team in SOS on the Callan road, one of the many partners of KKB. Kilkenny County Council will provide a class set of nature based colouring books with colouring pencils to allow a class to explore different aspects of biodiversity.
Deputy Mayor of Kilkenny, Cllr Martin Brett stated “We are extremely proud of the work and commitment of KKB here in Kilkenny especially on foot of the outstanding result they achieved in this year’s Annual National Tidy Towns competition. This new programme, which the Council is proud to be a part of, will provide invaluable educational resources and practical learning for our children. By engaging young people in a hands-on experience like this, we aim to foster a deep appreciation and understanding of biodiversity and instil a sense of responsibility for our environment.”
Mags Whelan, the Environmental Awareness Officer who provides support to schools involved in the green school programme is delighted to join forces with KKB and Bernadette Moloney, the Biodiversity Officer. She said, “KKB as a Tidy Towns group keeps biodiversity to the core of their activities, asking the schools to pledge their actions is a way that we can encourage schools to take small steps to nurture nature, provides better connectivity between KKB and primary schools across the City and enable KKB to record and report all the schools great work to the National Towns in next year’s submission”.
To register your participation, email; firstname.lastname@example.org before the 6th of November, a return email will be sent providing online resources with different ideas on what biodiversity actions could be suitable for your school or after schools group and a form to pledge your actions with follow on instructions on how to receive your biodiversity plants and classroom resources.