An Outdoor Classroom

Scoil Mhuire was awarded €1,500 by Cork County Council, through local Agenda 21, to fund the installation of an outdoor classroom! Local Agenda 21 offers funding to all sorts of local environmental projects through local county and city councils. Our project was to include a poly tunnel and an outdoor seating area where the children could learn about gardening and other topics outside!

Our local Men’s Shed were commissioned to make two large picnic benches for the school gardens. These are just perfect for a whole class to use for learning or picnicking!

After much planning, our poly tunnel was finally installed in January 2017. The installation was interesting to watch and took a few hours to do. Before the tunnel arrived our caretaker, Jimmy, dug two long trenches in the ground that would cover the plastic and keep it in place. Once the tunnel arrived, carefully positioned pipes went deep into the ground to ensure our tunnel would be safe in windy conditions – the frame was then attached to these pipes. Finally the plastic cover was pulled over the top and then down the sides and secured into the ground as our trenches were filled in again. Our tunnel has an irrigation system that allows us to water all the beds very easily – this was installed on the day. The finishing touches: a door was added to each end!  But, there was still quite a bit to do before any planting could begin….

We received a very generous donation of used scaffolding planks and these were “reused” to make raised beds for inside the tunnel – it’s always good to reuse old materials where possible! We also “reused” some old patio slabs between the beds inside the tunnel. Many thanks to Finbar O’Neil of O’Neil Concrete who very generously donated paving slabs and gravel. These were used to create a path from the school to the door of the poly tunnel.

Finally the planting could begin!!!