To mark Global Wind Day on 15th June, Energia Group has created a live action and animated film in partnership with a Donegal national school, to promote awareness and citizen education, in line with Ireland’s National Climate Action Plan.
The film showcases the pupils from St. Francis National School, in Barnesmore, Co. Donegal and their sensational sensory garden which is diverse in texture, colour, and scents, and has been carefully designed to not only ignite the senses but also to promote biodiversity. The sensory garden was created with the support of Energia Group, who operate the nearby Meenadreen Wind Farm in Donegal.
In the past six years Energia Group has invested more than €3 million in communities across the island of Ireland. Working with community groups and students in areas close to the Group’s 14 windfarms across the island, the Community Benefit Fund has supported a range of sustainably focused projects and community needs.
The award-winning Meenadreen Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund provides local student bursaries to cover third-level tuition fees and multi-annual grants for community capital projects, such as the sensory garden.
Every year St Francis National School elects a student council and in 2022 the council came up with the idea of the sensory garden. The garden provides a peaceful area with easy access for any school children with limited mobility who want to sit and read or chat at lunchbreak. Twelve-year-old Cora Cassidy, says the council is proud of the garden, which she and her fellow council members maintain: “The Covid pandemic made some of us anxious, particularly when we all had to wear masks. Getting outside and sitting in this quiet space has helped. It’s our wellbeing area and, as a council, we were keen to make sure that any students using walkers or wheelchairs can access the space easily and move around between the flower beds to enjoy this sensory garden.”
Peter Baillie, Managing Director of Energia Renewables said: “At Energia Group we have a long and proud history of engaging with local communities around all of our renewable energy projects. Ensuring local communities benefit in a real way from these projects is a priority for us and we work with the Community Foundation for Ireland and other independent charitable foundations to ensure that all our wind farm funds have a positive and lasting impact in the areas in which they operate.
“The Meenadreen wind farm fund, which has been set up for the 25-year lifetime of the wind farm, provides funding for local community projects which promote sustainability, with the St Francis School’s sensory garden serving as a perfect example of the projects supported. We are delighted to see the difference the funding is making and would like to thank the students at St. Francis National School, teacher Lorraine McNamee, and Principal Emer Carr for taking part in the film and being such super sports! They are Energia’s Climate Action Superheroes! Children are the future and schools are vital to helping us bring green education to life in communities across Ireland.”
You can view the film on the Energia website to see the students explain how they created their garden with the help of their local windfarm and watch them demonstrate how wind energy travels from the air, converts to electricity and makes its way into your home.
Check out EnergiaGroup.com/News to find out more about their renewable projects and sustainable initiatives.