Galway schools maintain green focus despite Covid challenges

Schools are leading the way in protecting the environment.

Thirty-six schools from the city and county have been awarded the Green Flag for their dedication to sustainability and protecting their environment.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, 526 schools in Ireland were awarded Green Flags, including 33 for the first time.

Green-Schools is an environmental management programme for schools which focuses on themes such as litter and waste; energy; water; travel; biodiversity; global citizenship and marine environment.

Seventy per cent of schools working on litter and waste theme took part in awareness raising action days, with 73 per cent reporting an increase in awareness of litter and waste issues, while 29 per cent of schools working on the energy theme managed to make energy savings, and 94 per cent of schools saw an increase in awareness on the topic of energy.

There was an increase in the number of students cyclling to school with 85 per cent of schools recording an increase in sustaintable travel, while 77 per cent of schools were awarded for the Green-Schools Travel theme.

Schools involved in the biodiversity theme planted some 2,000 trees, created more than 150 new wildlife-friendly gardens, and erected at least 250 new bird feeding stations

Eighty-eight per cent of schools working on the marine environment theme investigated the sources of marine litter and promoted an action to reduce it, while 93 secondary school students took part in the water ambassador programme, which provides mentoring and training for committed students who want to make a difference.

Green-Schools manager Cathy Baxter says the schools must be congratulated for continuing to find innovative ways to keep the programme going during school closures and social distancing. This was done by outdoor committee meetings, online workshops and attending online webinars to keep up to date,.

Awarded schools in Galway

Castlehackett NS, Tuam; Gort Community School, Gort; Killimor NS, Ballinasloe; Killeen NS, Portumna; Annagh Hill NS, Tuam; Claregalway NS, Claregalway; Creagh Training Centre, Ballinasloe; Scoil Naomh Fursa, Headford; St Brendan's NS, Portumna; Ardrahan NS, Ardhahan; BallymacWard NS, Ballinasloe; Sacred Heart NS, Williamstown; Scoil San Phroinsias, Galway; SN Cholmcille Naofa, Galway; Newcastle NS, Athenry; Presentation Primary NS, Athenry; St Feichin's NS, Loughrea; Lakeview Special School, Galway; Ard Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe; Gaelscoil Riabhach, Baile Locha Riach; Oliver Plunkett NS, Ballinasloe[ Ballinlass NS, Dunmore[ Ballymana NS, Craughwell; Brownsgrove NS, Tuam; Patrick's NS, Ballinasloe; Glinsk NS Via Castlerea; Kilbeacanty NS, Gort; Jarlath's College, Tuam; The Glebe NS, Ballinasloe; Coláiste an Eachréidh, Baile Atha an Ri.

First time awards: St Paul's Secondary School, Oughterard; Knocknacarra Educate Together NS, Knocknacarra; Cuan's College, Mountbellew.


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