Student Garden Project

The Parents` Council together with the Board of Management and the Students` Council has developed a wonderful new Student Garden/Amenity Area. Our plan was to take a dead space between the Library and the Sports Hall and turn it into a living space which could be used by the students i.e. a paved area with benches and tables. We have nearly 800 students in St. Mary`s and the Assembly Area can become very crowded at lunchtime.

Our Deputy Principal Dolores Mullins proposed the idea at the outset back in January 2011 and as a keen gardener, worked very closely with Clare McEnaney of the Parents` Council. Clare is a very creative landscape gardener and together they came up with plans for the area. A Sub Committee was formed. Draft plans were put before the Parents` Council, the Students` Council and the Green Council for consideration and alteration before presentation to the Board of Management.

The final plan (selected by the Students) together with costings, etc was put before the Board and to our delight, the go ahead was given with great encouragement and enthusiasm. The agreement was that the Parents` Council would fund the cost of the landscaping groundworks, planting and paving and the Board of Management would cover the cost of the Ecoplastic furniture i.e tables, benches, planters.

We were in a position to develop this project through your Voluntary Contributions over the past few years. These funds are held in the joint control of the Parents` Council and the School and have in the past been used to update the Resources Area, Computer Room and lots of other areas of need.

Thanks to a very good builder in Karl Allen and the outstanding enthusiastic community spirit of the Students, members of the Staff and the Parents` Council – over a number of weekends, we were able to put our plan into effect and the garden rapidly took shape. By the second week in April we were able to take delivery of our eco friendly garden furniture and view the finished project.

Our plan is to develop a Memorial area within the garden – dedicated to past Students and Staff and in so doing – create a link between the past and the present. We are also looking at other areas within the school boundaries which might be suitable for benches, etc.

I would like to thank everyone involved for their help, ideas and encouragement in creating this lovely garden area. It certainly showed us how well teamwork operates in St. Mary`s. Please call in and take a look – I hope you like what you see – our Students certainly do .

Aisling Monahan

Chairperson