Ardscoil na Mara
-an Edmund Rice School

Biodiveristy Challenge Letter

Biodiveristy Challenge Letter

Letter Sent to Students and Parents to Launch the Campaign

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Dear Students and Parents,

Today we are launching a Biodiversity Champion Challenge. The word biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth. It includes all the different plants, fungi, birds, insects and small mammals that you might find in your garden. We hope that all our students and their families will get involved. This is about creating a space for nature in your own garden or community. It could be as simple as letting the grass grow in a 1m by 1m area or creating a little wildflower patch in an area of the same size.

There is a plethora of scientific literature extolling the benefits of spending time in nature. Many of us have turned to nature since the beginning of the pandemic for solace and respite. Alarmingly, there has been a rapid decline in biodiversity worldwide. Some studies have shown a 70% decline in insect populations in just over 20 years. Most parents have observed this in their own lifetime. Thinking back to our own childhoods you might well remember the windscreen and fender of your own parent’s car being covered with dead insects that collided with the car while you were out on a Sunday drive in the summer. If you did the same journey now in the summer months you would find that your windscreen is clean. We can change this by taking small actions. We hope that this challenge will provide nourishment for our own wellbeing but also for bees, butterflies and other important pollinators.

This challenge is being organised by one of our science teachers, Mr Kirwan, who will share lots of resources with you on our google classroom. We’ll have lots of seeds to give away to get you started and we’ll email you information about this in the near future. Of course our staff will be getting involved too and sharing updates with you on our twitter feed. We would love to hear about your progress. Please do send us photos and videos so we can inspire others to take up the challenge (email patrickkirwan@ardscoilnamara.ie).

You can aim for the bronze, silver, or gold award. We will also have an overall winner for the Biodiversity Champion, a student and their family, who go above and beyond to create a space for nature in their garden. The awards will be given for projects initiated in 2021. Please document your progress as you go. More information will be available on our google classroom and you can let us know that you are taking up the challenge by completing this brief online form (takes about 2 mins to complete).

Very best wishes and good luck!

Pádraig Cawley

Principal.

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