Limerick teens reach National Environmental Awards

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IN WHAT was a record-breaking year for applications to the Young Environmentalist Awards, six youth projects from Limerick have reached this year’s final.

Almost 500 applications were received, which is a record-breaking number despite the COVID-19 interruptions. ECO-UNESCO will be announcing the winner’s virtually on the 21st of May through YouTube live and social media platforms.

Some of the Limerick finalists include Bin Buddy from Castletroy College, The Castleconnell National School Energy Savers and the Hospital Habitat Protectors from John The Baptist Community School who have sourced funding and raised money to create a woodland area where they could plant trees and preserve wildlife.

The Young Environmentalist Awards (YEA) recognises and rewards young people aged 10-18 who have taken environmental action and created projects that will help solve environmental issues. The event sees more than 4,000 participants each year. Although schools are closed during this time, young people are still continuing their environmental projects at home.

Elaine Nevin, Director of ECO-UNESCO said the group were delighted with the quality of this year’s applications and “cannot wait to announce this year’s winners”.

She said, “Young people are still taking eco action and continuing their projects at home, despite the pandemic.  In light of this we are holding an ECO Week to celebrate the young people who are enthusiastic about making an environmental difference.”

An event that usually brings schools and community groups together from all over Ireland to showcase their projects, will now be a week-long celebration while Covid-19 restrictions are in place.

ECO Week 2020 will be held from May 18 to 22, and will include a range of environmental workshops, well-being activities, talks, and challenges for young people alongside the YEA Winner announcements.

The theme of ECO Week 2020 is Food, Fitness, Fashion and your Future. The aim of ECO Week to celebrate the achievements of young activists, to allow young people to explore career opportunities in environmentalism and to educate them on a range of environmental topics.

For more information on the Young Environmentalist Awards please go to www.yea.ie