GREEN-fingered teens from Bush Post Primary, Dundalk scooped the overall Joint Junior Art & Design Award with their project ‘Our Recycled Garden Patch’ at the 13th annual ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards finalist showcase and awards ceremony held in the Round Room of the Mansion House, in Dublin recently.
In attendance were over 600 young people and special guests Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children Youth Affairs, Andrew Montague, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Duncan Stewart, ECO-Eye Productions, and the youthful master of ceremonies, Stephen Byrne, RTÉ presenter.
Along with the special category winners, O’Fiach College, Dundalk were also amongst the 60 lucky groups who were selected for the finals from almost 4,000 young people throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland at regional ‘Dragon’s Den’ style ECO-Dens with their project ‘The Importance of Trees in Biodiversity’. Preceding the official awards ceremony, the public were invited to a colourful exhibition where the Young Environmentalists showcased their ECO-Action project.
The winning project from Bush Post Primary wanted to help enrich the school’s natural surroundings by building an environmental display box made from recycled goods. The group contacted a local gardener to give them advice on how to build and maintain a garden bed that would be lined with shrubs and bushes.
“I am extremely impressed by all the young environmentalists participating in this year’s awards,” said Elaine Nevin, National Director of ECO-UNESCO. “All of the young people have shown tremendous creativity and innovation in their approach to protecting the environment and promoting environmental awareness among their peers, their schools, youth groups and the community as a whole. We have received high quality projects and we are delighted to run this programme to recognise and reward young peoples’ achievements.”
“It is heartening to witness the levels of interest and passion exhibited by so many young people in the future of the environment that we all share. This is an area of tremendous importance and it is reassuring that the motivators and leaders of tomorrow have such a collaborative ethos and have displayed such energy and innovation” commented Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland in an official statement for the event.