Five schools from Ballinacreen are celebrating an amazing first term and are showing leadership and teamwork to help improve their local area through Screen Eco-Schools.
Earlier this year the Eco-School Teacher Leaders from each of the five schools - St Columba’s PS, Straw, St Mary’s PS, Draperstown, Gaelscoil na Spéirini, St Eoghan’s, Moneyneena and St Colm’s High School - made the unique decision to come together to work as one team for the better of all the residents and visitors to the area.
The group, known as Screen Eco-Schools only began working together in September, but has already made a huge impact on the community.
The programme started with a ‘Wear it Wild’ day at St Colm’s Hugh School, where pupils dressed up as endangered animals, took part in wonderful workshops completing Eco activities, learned about protecting our wildlife and our planet, and raised some money for WWF.
The biggest achievement for the pupils will be seen in the spring, when 12,000 bulbs planted by the pupils as part of Blooming Ballinascreen will be in full bloom throughout the local area. The work of Blooming Ballinascreen was celebrated in a special event in St Columba’s Primary School, attended by the Chair of Mid Ulster Council, Cllr Kim Ashton.
Speaking on behalf of Screen Eco-Schools at the event, Brénainn Brunton, teacher at St Columba’s Primary School said: “The motivation of Blooming Ballinascreen was to encourage everyone to take pride, love and care for their local environment. The schools mapped out areas where the bulbs would be planted, and over two weeks in November they donned hi-vis vests and planted 10,000 daffodils and 2,000 bluebells, which will bloom in the spring, adding brightness and colour to the
“We were delighted to have the support of local community groups, Ballinascreen Men’s Shed, STEPS, St Colm’s GAC, Parents and Grandparents, STEPS Gardening Club, An Rath Dubh, Sixtowns Community Group, Glór na Speiríní and the Community Police. We also had support from SSE Airtricity, who gave us three staff to help with the planting.
“This could not however have been undertaken without the generous support of Mid-Ulster District Council who supplied the bulbs for the project; RC Engineering made 100 bespoke steel bulb droppers and donated these free to the project; Workspace who gave a generous grant of £500. So with tools and plants and people there will be a very bright and beautiful countryside in Screen this Spring.”