Swords Woodland Association kindly extended an invitation to STT members to attend their event called “Woodlands, Nature and People”. This was held in the Atrium in Fingal County Hall on Friday morning, September 23, from 10 am until 1 pm.
Four members of STT and a representative from the Broadmeadow Community Garden arrived to find the Atrium filled with luscious apple trees, and the chatter of excited students of primary and secondary school ages and their teachers.
Other adult guests included Mayor of Fingal Cllr Howard Mahony, Councillors Ann Graves, Ian Carey and Joe Newman.
Councillor Joe Newman opened the programme with a short speech about the importance of maintaining green belts in Fingal and in all built up areas for future generations, in the face of growing demands for housing developments.
Compere for the morning was teacher Ciaran Burke from St Finian’s Community College, Swords. His colleague spoke about the latest area of curriculum for first year secondary students. It aims to develop their link to the natural environment and awareness of their responsibilities as world citizen. One of their students spoke about our responsibility towards third world countries, which contibute least to climate change, yet experience its worst effects
Deirdre McCann, a teacher at Mary Queen of Ireland National School at Rivermeade, gave a wonderful visual presentation featuring aspects of the successful environmental education programme, which has been running at her school for some years. The children can now watch acorns growing in special boxes, presented to them by Swords Woodlands Association. All students are given opportunities for practical hands-on experience. They grow plants in their polytunnel, make compost and learn about sustainable gardening. They’d also taken part in tree planting events with Orla Farrell through her Easie Treesie programme. Orla was present, wearing her special beanie.
In the final section of the programme students were engaged in a range of activities.
Several apple trees were presented to each of the various groups at the close of this very successful event.