If they weren’t already, pupils and teachers from Spa NS will soon be green fingered experts in all things gardening after their school was announced as the lucky winner of the incredible prize of a brand new biodiversity garden worth €10,000.
The garden – to be created by Applegreen partner Biodiversity in Schools – was first prize in the Applegreen BioDive sticker competition which was won by the pupils of Spa NS thanks to the classroom poster that they created with stickers of native Irish animals, insects and plant life.
The school was chosen at random as the winner amongst over 1,000 others and as reward, they will now have a brand new school garden to look forward to when the new school term starts back in September after the summer holidays.
Applegreen’s BioDive campaign is designed to build awareness among primary school children, their families and local communities about the importance of biodiversity in Ireland. The initiative featured 120 collectible stickers to help students recognise distinct native flora and fauna.
Although national school’s registrations to take part were in excess of 1,000 in the Republic of Ireland, spaces were limited to 124 schools – this figure ensured that every participating school could partner with a local Applegreen outlet. The 124 shortlisted schools each received a special BioDive classroom learning pack designed by Applegreen in collaboration with the national education organisation Biodiversity in Schools.
Spa NS fully completed the BioDive poster with stickers of 120 native Irish species and was selected at random by Applegreen under assurance of external watchdog, Arthur Cox. The school’s Principal, Peter Linehan, says the entire school is looking forward to helping install its top prize of a biodiversity garden worth €10,000.
“Our entire school community worked together to collect all 120 BioDive stickers from our local Applegreen stores,” said Mr Linehan. “We are thrilled to have won and can’t wait to get started on our biodiversity garden. The pupils have some great design ideas for the garden and we are all very excited to welcome some new species to our school grounds as we continue our biodiversity support and education.”
Spa National School is an active Green School and has been awarded four separate flags, including the biodiversity green flag by An Taisce for its environmental efforts. Applegreen’s BioDive ambassador, Éanna Ní Lamhna, says the Tralee school is a worthy winner of the BioDive campaign and can inspire other schools and students to take an interest in Irish biodiversity.
In addition to the overall winning prize of a €10,000 biodiversity garden, 10 other schools – including Scoil Realta na Maidine in Listowel – will receive runners-up prizes of full day biodiversity workshops for their school which will be delivered by the team at Biodiversity in schools.