Duncan Stewart Launches The Biodiversity Garden!

Duncan Stewart Launches The Biodiversity Garden!


A bumble bee busy pollinating while the launch was going on on Saturday morning! Photograph courtesy of Ms O’Keeffe.


Our Green Schools’ Committee Coordinators have been in discussions with  the Holy Faith Garden Committee over the past few weeks in preparation for the launch of their Biodiversity Garden.  Inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ the committee, with support and guidance from Maria and Howard of The Botanic Gardens  are creating A BIODIVERSITY GARDEN in the grounds of the Holy Faith Convent in Glasnevin. An acre of land sloping down to the river has been donated by the Order to create a safe habitat for our pollinators – one third of which which are threatened with extinction from Ireland because we have drastically reduced the areas where they can nest and the amount of food our landscape provides for them. This biodiversity garden will will be a haven for our threatened pollinators!IMG_3043

The launch took place on Saturday 21st April against a backdrop of glorious sunshine. Invited guests gathered in the school Choir Hall for the opening talk which was delivered by award-winning architect and television producer, Duncan Stewart, who has has been a leading Irish advocate for environmental, health and conservation issues for over 40 years. ea6c3924-ac1d-443e-a9f2-60f8ba675a55IMG_3041

Duncan’s current television programme ‘Eco Eye’, now in its fourteenth series, is driven by his interests in the protection of our environment, Ireland’s biodiversity, supporting local communities and the communication of climate issues. Duncan spoke passionately to a captive audience about the greatest threats facing our planet due to global warming and climate change. He applauded the Garden Committee for their great work and looked forward to revisiting the biodiversity garden when it will be in full bloom – and maybe even featuring it on his Eco Eye programme. IMG_3043

Among the many distinguished guests was Sr Barbara Gunning who painted in oils a beautiful impression of what the garden might look like in full, free and wild bloom.IMG_3010IMG_3013

After his inspiring talk guests were invited to the site for the blessing and the turning of the sod by Duncan who confirmed on inspection that the soil was good and healthy and rich with worms . The blessing which was written by members of the Green Schools’ Committee was then read by second year student Sandra Shallot.5d0e4d2a-8b25-429a-82b2-e53623c376c2
                                                                               The Blessing 

We are gathered here today to bless this field in preparation for a new beginning. A place where people can come to clear their minds, pray and relax.

This will be a beautiful place where wildlife can thrive. We know how important balance and harmony are in nature and here we are creating an opportunity and a space for biodiversity to flourish. And remember with every stem there is life.

We now invite you to close your eyes and make a wish for the planet.981d6f03-919f-4779-913c-e4093558cf2a

After the blessing was read two senior Green School committee members Hannah Ryan Murphy and Eve McGrath Tully walked the site  sprinkling Holy Water on the entire area using sprigs from local plants.20180421_170230
When the ceremony was concluded guests were invited back into the Choir Hall to mingle and enjoy some refreshments. IMG_3039

Many thanks to the Garden Committee for having the vision!68f61cff-94b5-4966-b329-134fe0b8e000
And to our own Green Schools committee for embracing the vision! Thanks to Mr Montague, Ms Cunningham, Ms O’Keefe, Ms Mulvey, Ms Martin and their dedicated team!IMG_3031