Green Schools Announcement
Herbs grown by 1st Year Home Economics students in class at Mount Mercy.
Mount Mercy has completed the first year of a two-year Green Schools programme as we aim to achieve our 5th Green Flag. Biodiversity is the theme of this 5th flag.
Mini beast hotel attached to tree in grounds of Mount Mercy College by Green Schools Committee
What is biodiversity?
‘Biodiversity is the variation of living organisms from all sources, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and all the habitats of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Imagine life without all this diversity! Life on earth would cease to exist!’ – quoted from http://www.greenschoolsireland.org/
Planting wild flowers at Mount Mercy. Members of the Green Schools Committee L-R: Sara Ann Biju, Ms Cotter, Dia Harry Thomas, Ama Kuruppu Arachchi, Mr O’ Sullivan.
To date, the Green Schools Committee at Mount Mercy has completed an initial survey of 1st, 2nd and 5th year classes to examine student understanding of biodiversity and its environmental impact. The committee has also identified a bio-diverse area in the school grounds and has planted native Irish wild flowers there as well as attaching two insect hotels to trees in the zone to encourage biodiversity. 1st year Home Economics students grew herbs in class and brought them home to eat, so lets hope our students are gardening over the Summer!
Green Schools Committee members Sara Ann, Dia and Ama display their green fingers! Pictured planting wild flowers with Ms Fitzgerald.
Mini beast hotels attached to trees & site of newly planted wild flower seed bed at Mount Mercy.
Mini beast hotels pictured with L-R: Ama, Dia, Ms Cotter and Sara Ann.
The committee and the entire school community strive to maintain the four Green Flags achieved to date on the themes of Litter & Waste, Energy, Water and Travel. On the 18th May 2016, Mount Mercy took part in a national WOW day, which aimed for the participation of 20,000 students nationally. Well done to all who participated in attempting to either walk or use an alternative environmentally sustainable method of transport on that day. Our final survey figures show that approximately 14% of our MMC student population used park and stride and 7% walked to school on the day.
In Year 2 Green Schools at Mount Mercy plans to further raise awareness on the theme of Biodiversity and to continue to engage in and promote bio- diverse activity. Each of us can play a vital role in the protection and encouragement of biodiversity, not only within our school community but also in the wider community.
Some facts for you to consider:
“One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest”. (‘Declining bee populations pose a threat to global agriculture’, Environment 360, April 2013)
“Wherever you live in Ireland, you should be able to attract at least 5 different bumblebee species to keep you company in your garden in summer.” (Quoted from website: www.biodiversity.ie – please visit the site for ideas on how to do this).
“Wildflower species are worth preserving in their own right. But they also provide food for insects, birds and mammals – for example, wildflowers support pollinators, including bees, whose decline has been well documented in recent years. Wildflower planting schemes therefore provide an excellent way to support biodiversity while also creating a visually attractive flower display.” (www.ecocongregationireland.com)
“Biodiversity contributes to many aspects of human well-being, for instance by providing raw materials and contributing to health. …. (but) human actions often lead to irreversible losses in terms of diversity on Earth and these losses have been more rapid in the past 50 years than ever before in human history”. (www.greenfacts.org)