Eco Tribes 2017

Click HERE for our Eco Tribes Photostory 

Eco Tribes is a competition for Primary schools in County Louth. It involves the school planting in the community in conjunction with the local Tidy Towns group and  publicised with a public event. This year’s theme was “A Celtic journey – The Spirit of Nature”. Ms Larney’s 3rd class took part in the project this year and they really enjoyed all the work they did as part of the process. Here is a log of what was done:

  • We met with Dromiskin Tidy Town members and in particular horticulturalist Kevin Halpenny to see where we would locate the Eco Tribes Project
  • We also talked to Eco Tribes expert Dr Pamela Whitaker of Groundswell who gave us lots of advice. She visited the class on three occasions to see how we were getting on. We also logged in to Pamela’s blog on the Mutual Ground website where we got interesting and useful information.
  • We decided that we would use a field quite close to the school. This was also the home of the fantastic new Heritage Park in Dromiskin. We and Tidy Towns felt our project would fit in well in this space.
  • After a lot of discussion we decided we were going to do a Celtic Knot in box hedging. This would tie in well with the Eco Tribes theme. Kevin gave us a design we liked with a plan of the knot. We studied this in class.
  • Using recycled railway sleepers we made a square in which to put our design. Thank you to Dinny, Kevin, John, Henry, Declan and Seamus from Dromiskin TT for their help.
  • We put down mypex, left over from another project, over the soil. This would keep down the weeds and make it easier to maintain
  • Kevin helped us to mark out our design using spray paint and string to mark the position of the plants in straight lines. It looked very complicated.
  • Meanwhile we were very busy in class. We studied Celtic clothing and decided on our costumes for our public event. We also made shields which we decorated with Celtic symbols and crests. Ms Larney made nettle soup which was a favourite with the Celts and which, we all agreed, tasted surprisingly nice. The class also learned about The Salmon of Knowledge and we composed some funny Limericks.
  • We got our box hedging in Haggardstown Garden Centre and flowers from the monks in Collon. Our plants were very healthy. We used our vouchers supplied by Pamela Whitaker to pay for them.
  • We planted the box in our Celtic Knot design cutting small “x”s in the mypex for each plant. We left room for more plants to be put in at our public event
  • Our big evening was on Friday 19th May. Lots of parents, friends and interested bystanders turned up to join in the fun. All the children looked splendid in their Celtic costumes and decorated shields. We marched behind our Blackthorn banner in a noisy procession to the Heritage Park. Here we told the story of the Salmon of Knowledge, recited our Limericks and planted out the rest of the Celtic Knot.
  • Now it was time to have a party!! DJ Dave was waiting for us in the school yard and blasted out our favourite tunes. The parents had brought in some delicious food and this was washed down with elderflower cordial, tea and coffee. Our young fiddlers played Polka for us and our Hip Hop dancers kicked up a storm with the latest dance moves. We finished the evening  with a dance off between the girls and the boys which fittingly enough ended in a draw!

A big thank you to Ms Larney and 3rd class for all their hard work. Thank you to Dromiskin Tidy Towns and in particular Kevin Halpenny whose expertise was invaluable. We appreciate the support from our parents and families and David Kinahan who once again made his excellent sound equipment available to us. We also give a special mention to our photographer on the evening, David Caraher. Thank you to Aisling Sheridan and her staff in Louth County Council and last but not least thank you to Eco Tribes founder Pamela who has seen the concept grow from strength to strength since its foundation six years ago.