To celebrate 35 years of Gaisce – The President’s Award, the organisation is encouraging people across the country 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.
85-year-old Mary Neville from Stoneybatter, Dublin at the launch of BulbsForBees in the Phoenix Park alongside Caoimhe Martin, Carlow, Dublin footballer and Gaisce Council member Philly McMahon and Joel Osaghae from Jobstown, Tallaght
This week, 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 youth and community sector with support from the Department of Children, Equality, Integration, Disability and Youth these bulbs will be provided for free.
250,000+ Bulbs will also go on sale from today (09.09.2021) in 160 Lidl stores across Ireland. Allium bulbs will be sold for €2.99 and pollinator friendly flower bulbs will be sold for €1.99, both at special discounted rates.
You can find out how to participate in the project and how to receive a certificate of participation from the Gaisce – The President’s Award website. The #BulbsForBees campaign is supported by Lidl, An Post, and the ILDN, and is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
Welcoming the launch of the campaign, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman TD, said: “My Department is delighted to support the #BulbsForBees campaign. I would like to thank Gaisce – The President’s Award for raising public awareness on what is an important issue for the preservation of our environment. Bees play a significant role in the pollination of vital food crops. I strongly encourage members of the public to join the campaign and plant a bulb to support our bees.”
Back row: Joel Osaghae, Caoimhe Martin, Philly McMahon, Penelope Clarkin-Gaskin, Mary Neville. Front row: John Cunningham, Gaisce Council Chair and Owen Keogh, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Lidl Ireland
Yvonne McKenna CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award, said: “Since Gaisce – The President’s Award was founded 35 years ago we have helped young people from all backgrounds to realise the power that is within them to bring about positive change in themselves and society. Since its inception, more than a quarter of a million Gaisce Awards have been achieved by young people across the island of Ireland. Gaisce has become an important rite of passage and a national treasure.
“Now we want everyone in the country 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.
“We are calling on the public 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.”
Silver Gaisce participants Caoimhe Martin and Joel Osaghae
Commenting about why Lidl are selling pollinator-friendly bulbs to support the campaign, Owen Keogh Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Lidl Ireland, added: “With one third of our bee species threatened with extinction from Ireland, Lidl Ireland have signed up to the #BulbsForBees campaign. Declining pollinators such as bees and butterflies are considered an essential part of the team at Lidl Ireland in producing food, as they transfer pollen, aiding in the fertilization of plants and flowers, producing seeds, ensuring a new generation of greenery is produced every day. We look forward to selling over 250,000 pollinator-friendly bulbs to support the #BulbsForBees campaign.”
The #BulbsForBees campaign was officially launched this morning by Dublin footballer Philly McMahon. For more information please visit: www.gaisce.ie/bulbsforbees/