The Marine Institute has recently launched its plans on growing green where it has joined the All Ireland Pollinator's Plan, an initiative that aims to promote and protect wildflower growth and provide safe habitats for Ireland's bee species.
Ireland is home to 98 species of bees, one third of which are now endangered. Many are burrowing bees and solitary bees, and the growth of a wildflower meadow and the introduction of more flowering plants around the Marine Institute will benefit these species greatly.
Following the initiative adopted and implemented by farmers, businesses, local communities and schools, the Marine Institute, located in Oranmore, Galway, is converting thirty percent of its green spaces back to meadow.
"We are delighted to be taking part in Biodiversity Ireland's plan and have signed up to a number of the Pollinators 17 actions which includes creating a long flowering meadow and walkway, introducing pollinator-friendly planting and native species, as well as providing nesting habitats for bees," said Toni Hollowell, facilities manager and chair of the Get Greener Committee at the Marine Institute."
This Pollinator Plan also supports the Marine Institute's Get Greener programme, which focuses on sustainability and energy efficiency in the workplace. Initiatives like the Pollinator Plan also promote the importance of protecting our environment and engaging with our green spaces. As a result, a number of the pollinator actions are led by staff at the Marine Institute who have volunteered their time.
"We have also been hugely successful with a number of staff campaigns such as our "switch off" and reduce energy consumption, as well as the "give up yer aul bins" to re-use planters in the garden. This has helped our effort to reduce office waste and promote correct recycling in the office – and at home," explained Dr Debbi Pedreschi, chairperson of the Marine Institute's Sustainability Committee.
The Marine Institute's involvement in the All Ireland Pollinator's Plan can be tracked on www.biodiversityireland.ie. The initiative was launched to address pollinator decline and has garnered support from local communities all the way up to government bodies across Ireland as people have come together to appreciate the role played by wildlife and the natural world in their lives.
"The enthusiasm and new initiatives led by staff are an excellent examples of bringing staff together to be community based, sustainable and energy efficient. It's great getting back to basics, learning how to grow our own vegetables, and switching off electrics, which are all achieved through the great team effort at the Institute. We even hope to get the Institute's crèche involved, helping out with the Muddy Hands initiative and building bug hotels for the wildflower meadow," said Dr Pedreschi.