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06 Dec 2021

Carlow people of all ages urged to plant bulbs to protect bees

Carlow people of all ages urged to plant bulbs to protect bees

Carlow people of all ages urged to protect bees in new project

To celebrate 35 years of Gaisce – The President’s Award, the organisation is encouraging people in  Carlow regardless of age, location or size of back garden to take up their own Gaisce challenge this autumn and plant a pollinator-friendly bulb to protect one of the most important players in the climate change battle – bees.

If planted in Autumn, the bulbs will bloom in Spring. The #BulbsForBees campaign is supported by President Michael D. Higgins and the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan who have worked with Gaisce to undertake the largest ever pollination project in Ireland. The pollinator friendly bulbs will bloom in Spring creating a variety of flowers including crocus tommasinianus barr’s purple, allium moly and muscari armeniacum.

Over the next two weeks, over 50,000 pollinator-friendly bulbs will make their way to every post-primary school in the country; to Gaisce Award Partners including disability services, prisons and volunteer centres with the help of An Post; and over 300,000 bulbs through the Irish Local Development Network for distribution to the wider youth and community sector with support from the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth these bulbs will be provided for free.

Commenting in support of the campaign, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, said: “I thank all those who will be partaking in this special Gaisce challenge and who, by doing so, make a profound statement of their real desire to protect the life we share on this planet.”

Also commenting, Yvonne McKenna CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award, said: “We are calling on people in Carlow to pick up a pollinator bulb and plant it, to help safeguard the future of our vital bee population. One third of our bee species is threatened with extinction in Ireland. This is because we have drastically reduced the number of flowers they eat and places where they can safely nest. We’re asking everyone from schools and local authorities to sports clubs and shops to come together and create an Ireland where pollinators can survive and thrive.”

Since its inception in 1985, thousands of young people across Carlow have achieved a Gaisce Award, including 17-year-old St. Leo’s College student and climate activist Caoimhe Martin who helped officially launch the BulbsForBees campaign in the Phoenix Park alongside footballer and Gaisce Council member Philly McMahon.

Speaking about the campaign Caoimhe said: “I’m delighted to be part of BulbsForBees which is the biggest ever pollination project to take place in Ireland and as a Gaisce Award recipient I am honoured to take part in the initiative as the organisation celebrates its 35th anniversary. 

"Like a lot of young people, I’m passionate about the environment and climate change and getting involved with BulbsForBees is a really accessible way for everyone to make a difference. If we all take one small action, we can make a huge impact,” said the Silver Gaisce Award participant. 

She added: “Bees are such a vital part of the environment and that is why it's so important that as many people as possible get out and plant a pollinator friendly bulb this Autumn. It’s as simple as popping a bulb into a pot and letting it grow. The best thing about this campaign is that it's for everyone – no matter what age you are, this is your chance to get involved with Gaisce – The President’s Award.” 

President Award Leader in St. Leo’s College Carlow Sara Tallon said: “We are delighted to be involved in Gaisce’s BulbsForBees campaign and feel this is something everyone in Carlow can get behind and take part in. Our pupils are incredibly interested in the environment, and we are very proud that Caoimhe has taken a leading role in raising awareness about climate issues.”

You can find out how to participate in the project and how to receive a certificate of participation from the Gaisce – The President’s Award website. The #BulbsForBees campaign is supported by Lidl, An Post, and the ILDN, and is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

For more information please visit: www.gaisce.ie/bulbsforbees 

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