August 2016 saw the Transition Year students begin the construction of the St. Benildus College Garden. The project has a wide scope. It is to build an environmentally sustainable school garden that will serve the school and the wider community. It has the potential to have: strong educational links, enhance the natural surroundings, raise awareness of environmental concerns and facilitate local to global community action. To date the project has forged relationships and links with; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council through the award of an Environment Grant, Johnstown Boys National School, a local Residents Association, a Construction Company operating in the local area, Green Schools, Geography classes undertaking soil samples, 5th Year Agricultural Science students who have begun to sow potatoes in part of the vegetable patch under construction and some very enthusiastic 5th Year students as an option in Senior P.E.
A key element is that students carry out all works directly which promotes sustainable community involvement.Intended outcome
The intended outcome of the project is for all members of the school community to contribute, enjoy and benefit from the creation of a school garden: Students, Teachers, Parents and Families.
The College aims to enrich the education of the students through all facets of school life; academic, health and welfare, recreational activities and the growth of individuals and groups in school activities. We offer a holistic approach to education and aim to meet the individual; spiritual, intellectual, moral, artistic, emotional, physical and social needs of each student so that they are better equipped for life. A school garden offers many physical and psychological health benefits for students and adults.
The Project is for transition year students and other students in our school to build a school garden from scratch, whereby students complete all works from start to finish. From; research, garden design, hard landscaping, soft landscaping, building flower beds a paved/stone path, compost heap, a seating area as an outdoor classroom, planting trees and flowers, weeding, sowing, growing, nurturing, caring and loving nature.
It will be an ‘outside’ reflective area and the space can be used in the future to house school graduations whereby families reflect and rejoice together as a community.
It is envisaged as a working garden AND a place of contemplation and relaxation as well – an escape from a pressurised world to a place of calmness and serenity.