Eco-Tribes 2018

19th February 2018
We are delighted to announce that 3rd Class will be representing St Francis National School in this years Eco-Tribes initiative. We will be working very closely with Blackrock Tidy Towns representative Eileen Guiney. This years theme for Eco-Tribes 2018 is “Pollinator Friendly Planting”.

22nd February 2018
On Thursday the 22nd of February we had a visit from Nikita Coulter from the Heritage Council to give us a presentation on the key messages of the All-Ireland Pollination Plan 2015-2020 (Junior Version). Nikita also taught us how to conduct a flower quadrat and bumblebee/butterfly survey, it was very exciting!!

2nd & 9th of March 2018
On Friday the 2nd of March we set off to meet with our T.T. Rep Eileen. The weather was horrendous…but that didn’t stop our eager Tribe! We armed ourselves with coats, high-viz vests and brollies and off we set to see our Eco-Tribes site. Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worst by the time we got there so we cancelled and rescheduled for Friday the 9th of March. The following Friday was a glorious Spring day just perfect for seeing our Eco-Tribes site in all its natural glory. Eileen pointed out that we would be using the site of the Eco-Tribes 2017 group, this was perfect as there was already a number of pollinator friendly plants on the site. We took rough sketches of the site and Eileen sent us off with the task of thinking of a Tribe name and Logo for our Eco-Tribes team.

16th March 2018
We met with Eileen in the park. We shared our Tribe name with her, from now on we will be known as “The Park Pollinator Promoters”. The children also designed a logo to go with our Tribe name. Eileen gave us a summary of the plants that are already on the site and she talked about other trees, fruits and herbs growing in other areas. It was very hard to envisage some of the plants as the gardens were looking rather bare after the harsh Winter. Eileen explained to the children how the Bees need a variety of plants available from early Spring until late Autumn. We talked about how important bees are in helping flowers, fruits and vegetables to grow. We recorded some very important information on that visit.

23rd March 2018
Visit to the garden centre- Today we went to Dundalk Garden Centre and made our first purchase for the Pollinator Friendly garden. We bought two Crab Apple Trees to replace apple trees that had been damaged in the storm in the Winter.

13th April 2018
During the week we made quadrats in school by sticking 4 metre length bamboo sticks together. We made a list of the pollinating flowers we wanted to look for and we tested the park area and the Eco-Tribes site. It was very interesting. We worked in groups and then shared our results with each other. We discussed the conclusions from our results.

19th April
We have been very busy over the last two weeks researching pollinating friendly plants and trees. We each researched one or two plants and presented our knowledge in class to each other. We drew some fantastic pictures of the flowers.. not only are the trees budding but I have to say there are some budding artists in 3rd class..watch out Claude Monet!!

20th April 2018
We met with Eileen in the Park to discuss the plant research we had done. From our previous surveys of the plants that were already on the site and around the park we made a list of new plants we could add to the park. Eileen had an example of real bumblebees that had been killed by cars. It reminded us how humans can have such a negative impact on Bees and nature. Some of us held the bees in our hands.

1st May 2018
To mark the beginning of Summer we decided to plant some sunflower seeds to grow in class and then transplant into our pollinator friendly garden in the park and in the school grounds. We made bio-degradeable pots from using re-cycled newspaper.

3rd of May
The financial team are busy doing some banking and accounts

4th May 2018
Eileen came into school today to work with the plant selection team and the financial team. Ms Gray went to the Dundalk Garden Centre with our list of proposed plants and got prices for them. We were then able to all sit together with the plant list and the cost and discuss which plants were most feasible.

15th May 2018
On the 15th of May the remainder of the plants were bought in the Dundalk Garden Centre. We met Eileen at the park and we began getting the site ready for planting. The children dug some holes and got the pollinator friendly plants out of their pots and into the soil.

18th May 2018
On the 18th of May we worked in groups. Some groups carried out the repeat flower quadrat survey to compare results with last months recording. Some groups worked on the bumblebee/butterfly surveys with Eileen. The butterfly and bumblebee surveys will continue to be monitored on a weekly basis to observe any increase of pollinators present in the park.

21st May 2018
The judges have confirmed they are available to come to our public event to unveil our pollinator friendly project in the park on Thursday @ 1:30pm. We are very busy getting ready and everybody is welcome to come to this event…start spreading the news!!