Staff and students at Kinsale College had an extra reason to celebrate Christmas when it became the first College of Further Education in Munster to achieve the An Taisce Green Campus Award.
Winning the prestigious green flag is the latest in Kinsale College’s impressive list of environmental awareness credentials. It was the first college in the world to offer a course in permaculture back in 2001. Ever since then, Kinsale College has been gaining national and international recognition as a climate action hub.
College director Liz Moynihan paid tribute to the hardworking staff and students who collaborated to achieve the Green Campus designation: ‘We’re delighted to get this national recognition, and it’s well-deserved,’ she said.
‘Lots of schools and colleges have implemented green policies to teach our young people what it takes to tackle climate change. But, here in Kinsale College, we’re a step ahead because we have climate activists on our campus every day of the week – our permaculture students.
‘They’re leading the march on climate change in the Kinsale area – for example, they’ve been working on an energy audit and energy management plan for the whole eircode P17 district. They are working towards greater biodiversity in the area – encouraging more bees, birds, butterflies and native wildlife by reducing the use of herbicides and other poisons in managing our natural environment.’
The Green Campus Award doesn’t just focus on building awareness of environmental issues among students and staff at the college to ensure the carbon footprint of each staff member and student is reduced. Andrew Brownlee, chief executive of Solas, took to twitter to congratulate Kinsale College and added that Green campus is one of the core pillars of the vision for the further education and training college of the future set out in Solas FET strategy and added how fantastic it was to see Kinsale blazing a trail.
Sustainable horticulture students here have been very pro-active over the years about going out into the community and teaching other people how to treat our planet with more care. They’ve even designed gardens for local schools and, as soon as restrictions are lifted, that’s the work they want to do more of – getting the message of environmental awareness out to the wider community.
The college has issued a short video on YouTube to mark the Green Campus designation.