Over the past school year, over 123,000 students in 551 schools all over Ireland have participated in the Green-Schools water theme which is sponsored by Irish Water. The water theme looks at developing awareness around water conservation and how to effectively manage this precious resource in our schools and at home.
In the Northern and Western Region, Merlin College in Galway City was named the regional winner in the Secondary School category, while Kilbaron National School in Donegal was winner in the primary school category. Balbriggan Community College in Fingal was named the Secondary Water School of the Year, while St Brigid’s National School in Meath Hill, Navan, Co. Meath were the winners in the Primary category.
Merlin College in Galway City showed exceptional commitment to the water theme and to raising awareness of the value of water in their school and the wider community. Merlin College students embraced water conservation, undertaking a water survey, conducting leak tests, calculating water usage, as well as implementing water-saving measures. Most impressively the college implemented a water harvesting system, as well as undertaking project work on the Merlin Woods River and a local beach clean-up.
In addition to winning Northern and Western Region Water School of the Year, Merlin College students Chloe Gray, Lauren Creane, Caoimhe O’Brien and Emily Carr were recognised as Regional Water Ambassador Winners for all their work in water conservation at the school.
There were even more wins for Galway as Nicole Saville a student at Archbishop McHale College in Tuam took home a Water Award for her poster in the Secondary School category.
Speaking at the awards, Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water congratulated all the winners for their efforts to highlight the value of water.
We have seen how the younger generation has taken the lead in the battle against climate change. In the same spirit, the students and schools who have taken part in the Green-Schools Water Theme this year have shown exceptional leadership in inspiring their communities to value our precious water resources. We all have a role to play in safeguarding our water and they are leading by example through outstanding water conservation, communication and education initiatives. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who has taken part in this excellent programme.
Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter said:
Once again this year we have seen some and inspirational ideas from the participating students. They have shown great leadership, not just in their schools but also in their wider communities. Our Schools of the Year winners have shown a real willingness to reach out beyond the schools themselves to engage with a wider audience, including using social media to spread the word about water conservation. Well done to all the schools who took part in the programme this year for their outstanding efforts.
Among the awards given out at the event were the regional and national Water Schools of the Year and the Green-Schools poster and video competition winners. The country’s top Water Ambassadors were also honoured at the special ceremony which took place in Dublin.
This is the ninth year of the Green-Schools partnership with Irish Water, and in that time over 1,600 schools have taken part, attending interactive water workshops or Walk for Water events, hosting talks from Irish Water staff or visiting their local water and wastewater treatment plants.