HOLY Trinity College were represented by the Holy Trinity River Warriors, HTRW, at the 13th annual ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Finalists Showcase and Awards Ceremony held in the Round Room of the Mansion House, in Dublin on 8th May.
This was the first year that Holy Trinity was represented at the event and the Warriors walked off with the award of Junior Water Winners. They had successfully ‘pitched’ their project at the ECO Den event at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre in March and were subsequently short listed for the finals in Dublin.
The HTRW have been carrying out environmental protection work in and along the banks of the Ballinderry River, ‘adopting’ a stretch of the river. They have been doing this with the help of the Ballinderry River Enhancement Association, WWF and the RSPB.
They have also helped the RSPB protect Red Kites, birds of prey, reintroduced to Ireland and have become members of the N. Ireland Marine Task Force Schools Project, helping to protect the marine environment around Ireland too.
They also help Cookstown District Council’s Environmental Health Department keep the streets around the school clear of litter.
In attendance at the awards ceremony were over 600 young people and special guests Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children Youth Affairs, Andrew Montague, Lord Mayor of Dublin and the youthful master of ceremonies, Stephen Byrne, RTÉ presenter.
The annual awards programme run by ECO-UNESCO, Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation, recognises and rewards young people that carry out local environmental action projects. The programme has provided thousands of young people, aged 10 -18, an opportunity to take action and raise awareness in their own community on issues that matter the most to them.
Over 20 Awards were presented including category winners in Biodiversity, Water, ECO-Community Development, ECO-Enterprise, ECO-Art and Design and Climate Change. Special Awards were presented to ECO-UNESCO Clubs, to Super junior groups (10-12yrs), to ECO-Leaders (teachers & youth leaders) and to youth and community organisations through the ECO-Sustainability Award. With young people from all over Ireland and Northern Ireland, the event featured 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.
Each group showcased innovative elements of their environmental action projects which included fun and friendly nature trails; up-cycled fashion, fracking research, eco-cartoons, original environmental songs and even a pedal powered smoothie machine!