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Timoleague National School, Bandon

Timoleague Educational Garden

  • Timoleague National School created a school garden back in 2013 and have continued to develop it each year.

We are very proud recipients of the Muintir na Tíre School Garden Competition; Best Small Garden Winners 2014, Small Garden Category 2015, Edible Garden Category 2016, Best Colour & Art Awards 2017 and Gold Medal Winner Cork School Garden 2022. We were announced as Best in Category Community Involvement in the Muintir na Tíre Cork School Gardens 2023. We have received awards from Cork Food Policy Council & Young Environmentalist Awards.

We have developed two embankments at the side of the school. We plant 28 window boxes each autumn with spring flowers. We then save these bulbs & store them for the following year. We plant a summer display.

We have delivered a food growing project each spring for the past 11 years. We call this project “Learn at School, Grow at Home”. The project shows children and their families how easy and fun it is to grow food at home. We aim the project at children in Senior Infants in the hope that we are creating healthy and practical food growing habits early in the child’s life. At school each child is shown how to set up a mini-garden and how to sow and grow 4 types of vegetables. The children are then issued with free seeds to plant at home in their own mini-garden.  

We were delighted to have secured extra land in 2020 to develop a Biodiversity Garden. Beside Timoleague Pump Station, Irish Water had a remaining piece of land. We approached them and they were delighted to support our Biodiversity plans and signed a Licence Agreement with the school for the land. 

As a result of the combined & successful efforts of Timoleague NS & Timoleague Tidy Towns in the GIY Community Classrooms initiative, a  new community project has commenced called “Timoleague Educational Garden” . The aim of this project is to develop an educational space for adults and children, and more importantly to build a community social hub.   

This community garden  initiative aims to create a social, educational, and recreational hub for Timoleague, and naturally foster social inclusion and diversity, a place where young and old can garden together and learn from each other.  

The Timoleague Educational Garden is a project which provides a hands-on learning experience to children and adults about sustainable gardening practices and basic food-growing skills. By using renewable and eco elements like composting, repurposing etc., it shows us what “green” actions we can replicate at home in the face of the challenges of  climate change. Studies have shown that gardening is transformative for people’s mental and physical health so this  project will have a positive impact on the locality and enhance the biodiversity of the area for future generations. 

 

The following are extracts from the Tidy Towns Competition Reports regarding the school garden;

“The School has attractive grounds – we admired the strawberry planters in the garden!” 2014 report

“The school is looking great and its bee garden was admired!........... It’s great that you have a poly tunnel for the propagation of bedding plants as this will save you considerable cost and resources. Even better that the national school is so involved with this endeavour” 2015 report

“The school garden represents one of the best uses of space that this adjudicator has seen in such a small space…. The national school garden was visited and it was a delight! It was thoughtful and amusing as well as excellently planned.” 2016 report

“The Community Garden is excellent and an invaluable tool to facilitate community cohesion and a strong community spirit; rainwater harvesting is noted here no doubt used for watering plants throughout Timoleague. The “air miles” travelled for fruit and vegetables project by the school children is most enlightening, a really good initiative.” 2017 report.

"We would like to commend the schoolchildren on their pollinator friendly planting in the school gardens" 2018 report

"The school are commended for their wildflower sowing which will bring many pollinators to the village ........ The children are also learning how to grow their own vegetables and plants from seeds. These are very good savings as they cut down on packaging and air miles. Harvesting of rainwater is also commended. " 2019 report

“There is strong engagement with the local school and some pupils are involved in the weekly clean ups. The school has set up an outdoor garden and in conjunction with Tidy Towns, pupils are involved with nature and biodiversity and sustainability programmes.....A range of very interesting and innovative biodiversity projects in conjunction with the local school, are also included..” 2022 report

Tidy Towns Report 2023;

  “The new Education Garden in the school set up in conjunction with Tidy Towns and GIY is a fantastic project for all involved and you are tp be congratulated.”  

“Your main project for this year has been the setting up of the Educational Garden in conjunction with Timoleague National School and GIY (Grow It Yourself). This is an excellent initiative and one which will undoubtedly develop and grow in the coming years.”

  “It is a valuable asset to have to be able to teach the children about biodiversity, gardening and nature and cheering to know that they are putting those learning to good use in their schools and gardens.”

  “The possibilities for learning in this garden are invaluable. From seed to table including learning about making compost, pond life, building stone walls and raised beds, the full gamut is there and will hopefully be fully appreciated by the school and local community.”  

“The Biodiversity Education Programme run by SECAD/Wild Work that visited the school must surely have been exciting for the school children.”    Your new initiative “Picker Pals” is a great idea with a cross generational plan to create a better environment for a shared future. 

 
 
26th Jan 2024
 
 
 
 
26th Jan 2024
1st class were busy this week making smaller bug hotels out of recycled bottles....