GROW Schools’ Environmental Awards 2015

eNV aWARDS 2015The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk, was the venue for the 2015 GROW Primary School’s Environmental Awards on Thursday June 11th. School Environmental Co-Ordinator, Ms Larney, along with members of the Green School Committee, representatives from our Tree Tribe the Blackthorns and members of Dromiskin Tidy Towns journeyed  to hear the results from judges Gertie Mc Gee and Kathleen Muckian who had visited over 35 schools around Louth during May.

Our young pupils set up two display stands to exhibit their work – one for the Special Project section (our Big Travel Challenge) and one for the Tree Tribe Challenge (undertaken by Ms Larney’s 3rd class). Then they had the opportunity to visit other schools’ very impressive stands and inspect the work carried out by fellow pupils from around the county throughout the year.

MC for the event was Aisling Sheridan from the Environmental Section of Louth County Council. Guest speakers were Dr Pamela Whitaker from Groundswell and Andrew “Mouse” Fleming of Pamela, the inspiration behind the Eco Tribes and Tree Tribes projects, spoke passionately of the many benefits of children’s involvement with nature and local environmental matters. “Mouse” gave a fascinating talk about birds, animals, insects and their habitats and was really impressed with the knowledge of the students present.

And so to the awards. First up was the Tree Tribe award. All the schools were highly commended for their sterling efforts and the success of their projects. But Ms Larney jumped for joy when MC, Aisling, announced that the winner of Tree Tribe for 2015 was the Blackthorns from St. Peter’s, Dromiskin, 3rd class and their “Irish Hedge” planted on the site of the AOH Hall. Great credit goes to Ms Larney and her boys and girls for this wonderful achievement, repeating last year’s success. The judges especially commented on their fun public event and the knowledge and enthusiasm displayed on their visit to the classroom. They received a beautiful plaque and a garden voucher for €325. Well done!!

The Young Environmentalist Award was up next and our nominee Green School stalwart, Caoimhe, received a lovely presentation. But the winners’ trophies and awards went to very young pupils from Scoil Lorcan, Omeath and Ardaghy NS from the north of the county. This was followed by the Special Project award which went to Tallanstown NS for a wonderful project on the River Glyde and its eco system. Finally we had the individual school awards. Newly commissioned plaques were awarded based on a star scoring system ranging from a basic one star up to five stars awarded to elite entries. Dromiskin was delighted to be one of only two schools in the whole of Louth to receive a 5 star accolade and we will display this proudly in the school in the coming year. The other school to be acknowledged this way was Scoil Mhuire na Trócaire from Ardee. Their Principal, Deirdre Matthews,  and her pupils were delighted when they pipped Dromiskin with the highest marks and were also awarded the School of the Year cup for their endeavours.

Many thanks to Ms Larney, Anne Mc Guinness and the Green School Committee for all their hard work during the year. Thanks also to Aisling Sheridan and her colleagues from Louth County Council for organising the event. Finally a big thank you to Mary Murtagh and Councillor Liam Reilly from Dromiskin Tidy Towns who came in specially to the event to support their local school. And remember GROW stands for Green Renewable Organic and Waste minimisation!!