more THAN 350 local school children recently teamed up with well known gardening expert, Gareth Austin, and the Housing Executive Social Education Project to plant 8,000 daffodil plants in their schools and communities
The pupils ranged in age from the kids of Bligh’s Lane Nursery School and Pennyburn Playgroup; primary schools were represented by Holy Child, St John’s, Groarty, Holy Family, Gaelscoil Eadian Mhoir, Fountain PS, Good Shepherd PS, St Patrick’s Pennyburn, PS and Belmont House PS; the city’s teenagers were represented by St Peter’s High School and St Mary’s College pupils
Gareth Austin stated: “Projects like this are great to be involved in. The kids are the gardeners of the future and love working within their local areas. It was great to have so many kids and schools involved in the project. I can’t wait to see the flowers in full bloom this spring,” he said.
Patrick Duddy, NIHE Social Education Officer added: “The project was fairly ambitious, considering the time of year and the likely weather – but everyone involved got stuck in regardless – at one stage we had 14 St Mary’s girls sheltering from a hail storm in the back of Gareth’s Transit van! The teachers and the schools involved were a great help in organising each of the 15 different planting sessions.”
Speaking at the joint planting event adjacent to the Holy Family Men’s Group Allotment scheme Billy Page, Holy Family Men’s Group said: “It is great to see so many children here today. This initiative has allowed local children to be part of the development of this piece of land. Over the past number of weeks this area has been transformed into a community facility which we can all take pride in. The Housing Executive have played a huge role in this and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”
Kevin Campbell, Deputy Mayor and Triax Neighbourhood Management Team(TNMT) worker, part of the team that planted out Bishops Field Park. concluded:
“It was great today to see so many children really taking ownership of the park and putting so much of their own time and energy into the bulb planting. It’ll be great in the spring when the kids really see the impact the flowers they planted will make.”