17 May 2022

The President’s Award calls on the Kilkenny public to plant a bulb to protect our bees

The President’s Award calls on the Kilkenny public to plant a bulb to protect our bees

Celebrating at the launch of the largest ever pollination project in Ireland

To celebrate 35 years of Gaisce – The President’s Award, the organisation is encouraging people in  Kilkenny 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 community and youth sector with support from the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth these bulbs will be provided for free.

In Kilkenny, community and youth groups can contact Kilkenny LEADER Partnership about collecting their Gaisce bulbs, while their stock lasts. Members of the public are encouraged to visit their local garden centre to pick up a pollinator friendly bulb to participate in the challenge by October 21.

You can find out how to participate in the project and how to receive a special commemorative certificate of participation from the Gaisce – The President’s Award website.

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 Kilkenny 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.”

Joe Saunders, CEO at the Irish Local Development Network, added: “We are delighted to support the #BulbsForBees campaign by using our links to community groups in every part of the country. This is a fantastic initiative by Gaisce – The President’s Award to protect our bee population. We want everyone in the county to participate in their own Gaisce challenge that will protect the future for us all. Just like the Gaisce Award itself, this doesn’t happen overnight. A bulb planted now will need care and attention before it blossoms in the Spring, and that’s something wonderful – and important - for everyone to be part of.”

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