Each year, Waterford City and County Council fund environmental awareness initiatives with schools. This year they were delighted to fund Leave No Trace Ireland to deliver workshops to both primary and secondary schools across the metropolitan area during the summer term.
Leave no Trace is about encouraging responsible enjoyment of our natural environment. The programme encourages people of all ages to take responsibility for their impact on the environment and other people, and introduces techniques that will help reduce those impacts. The workshops for primary schools provide a fun and engaging way to learn about Ireland’s natural environment and the Leave No Trace message. Each workshop consists of a combination of classroom and outdoor learning in the school grounds. Not only do these workshops link in with Waterford City and County Council’s anti litter programme for schools, but they are also linked to the An Taisce Green Schools programme and the school curriculum. At the end, all students will receive an award called the “Leave No Trace champion.”
Ella Ryan, Environment Awareness Officer with Waterford City and County Council welcomed the enthusiasm of the schools for the Leave No Trace message. “We have had a great response from the schools for the Leave No Trace programme and are delighted to fund these workshops in Waterford Schools. The workshop puts the anti litter message into a very real context for pupils. The Leave No Trace message of caring for nature is a great opportunity for the children to learn how they can put this message into practice.”
Eoin McMahon, Leave No Trace trainer, is delivering the workshops in Waterford workshops over the last month and will carry out the final workshops this week. He has been receiving great feedback from pupils: “We loved being outside learning with Eoin from Leave No Trace! The most important message I remember is to always ‘Pack it In, Pack it Out’! The games we played were fun too. I think kids of all ages would like it”, commented Devin and Craig from 4th class in Glor na Mara, Tramore.
Further information on Leave No Trace Ireland schools can be found on www.leavenotraceschools.org