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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Muintir na Tire Cork Schools Garden Competition


  • The aim of the 'Cork Schools Competition' is to support pupils, teachers in County Cork to bring nature, wildlife, plants and colour into their school garden/grounds, to promote horticulture and biodiversity and to give students a chance to interact with the environment and nature in a positive way. 
  • Climate Change and Gardening
    Special Awards for  the following elements
    Up-Cycling  Upcycling in the garden helps lessen the amount of waste going into landfills. Upcycling helps reduce CO2 emissions by using old materials instead of new ones. Schools are encouraged to rethink, repair, refurbish along with reusing & recycling items. E.g. Fairy Houses made from recycled materials, but don’t damage trees.
    Food Production  Being able to grow food without pesticides and eat it straight from the garden is superior in every way to produce that is pumped full of additives, packed to prevent it deteriorating, transported and then sold as ‘fresh’. Schools are asked to grow in  raised beds and containers, Plant Fruit Trees, Fruit Bushes, Practice Rotation, Weeding,  Labelling, Use of Composting, Rain Water Harvesting, Wormeries etc.
    Biodiversity/Wildlife/ Native Flowers and Plants. It is now widely recognized that climate change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity is affected by climate change, with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation.   We are looking for Natural hedges, log piles, bird boxes, bird tables, wildflower meadows, nature  trails, use of native flora, organic manures and  natural pest control.
    Bee Friendly Garden. Loss of natural and semi-natural habitats has been a key driver in pollinator declines. The availability of food plants and nesting sites has been drastically reduced through conversion of low-intensity farmland and semi-natural land to intensive farmland, forestry and urban/industrial use.  Griffins Garden Centre will again be presenting a special award  for the school which is most  bee friendly  and encourages  pollination
    We are also looking for Gardens that include
    Art and colour   Using art  and Colour in the garden to enhance its  features and characteristics . Try using upcycled .materials
    Imaginative use of limited space.  For schools with very limited space ie. Small Courtyards,  Limited Soil Space, Use of  Tubs, Containers, Window Boxes, Paths, Borders, Walls etc.
     Innovation and Creativity  In recognition of the Creative Ireland Programme, this category encourages innovative garden elements, using new and unique features to inspire others
    Fun and Play The degree to which the garden contributes to
    opportunities for fun and play in the school
    Learning experience The degree to which  the garden is used as a learning tool within the school and the amount of children who participate.
    Planning and Community Involvement The  degree to which the wider community  support the  original design, construction and ongoing development of the school garden.
    Use of Irish Language in Garden (New)
    In recognition of 2018 being Bliain NA Gaeilge we are introducing a special element this year for the use of Irish  of the garden . For example tree names in Irish, labelling and other signage in Irish..
  • The competition is open to all primary schools in  Cork County Council administrative area who have a school garden or are in the process of developing one. 
  • The school decides on the participants for the competition, this will consist of pupils and adults. The pupils can be members of one class or representatives from a few classes. The adults may be teachers, school gardener or parents).  
  • The judges will include a horticulturist, an Environmental Awareness Officer, Heritage Officer and a member of Cork County Federation Muintir na Tíre.

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