The excitement mounted for the 160 children, parents and teachers as they were welcomed by Derek Davidson, project director of the Roundhay Rotary Club “Butterfly Garden Project 2012” awards ceremony held at Roundhay School.
He explained what Rotary was, The biggest voluntary charity in the world with over 1,200,000 members in 200 countries involved with improving lives through Education, Health and hands on help when natural disasters stuck anywhere in the world. We can be the first to react because we have so many members with local knowledge and the type of help that would be most beneficial.
Rotary members start at 7 years old through Rotakids and progress through the school years and into adult life.
“We welcome interest from professional people who want more out of life than just putting their hand in their pocket when they see a collection tin, “said Derek.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Ann Castle attended to present the prizes to the winners of the various categories. She stated, “This is a wonderful environmental initiative and the enthusiasm of the children and teachers indicate how much they have enjoyed taking part in this project. This takes nature and science and art right into the heart of the city. It covers so many subjects and allows children to excel in their particular talent, no matter what their ability, as well as introducing them to other important aspects of their education”.
The best nursery project was won by Chapeltown Community Nursery. Janet Smith said, “The children have loved building their garden, watching the caterpillars grow and painting. They have really taken a pride in what they have done and protect their garden from being damaged by smaller children”
The best artwork and written subject was won by Mill Field Primary School.
Nigel Pulling Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society awarded their Conservation Award to St Augustine’s RC Primary. He was impressed that they had built a garden in one of the enclosed courtyards and by the natural wildlife area within the school grounds where the Butterfly Garden had been located.
He praised all the schools for their imagination and was pleased to have the Society involved in this imaginative project which got children involved with their own environment and nature at such a young age.
Special Achievement award went to John Jameson School for the hard work they had done despite many of the children having physical disabilities. They had visited garden centres to select the seed and planted and tended to the growth.
Runners Up was Carr Manor Primary.
Highfield Primary won the best overall project prize. Derek Davidson said,” When I first visited this school only 15 children from their gardening club were going to be involved. When I next visited the school this number had risen to over 100 and four classes were all involved with their own interpretation of the Butterfly life cycle and produced excellent artwork and science studies as well as building a garden.
The timing of the butterfly release into the garden even coincided with our final judging visit and we captured one of them feeding of the nectar of a flower. Success indeed”
The head teacher Julie Colley commented, “This has been such a wonderful practical project that we are now incorporating it as a permanent project in our school curriculum.”
Stewart Bannister Marketing & communications Manager at Leeds Building Society, one of the award sponsors praised the efforts everyone had made and said, ”We are proud to be involved with this project as it helps the environment and is community based. It educates our children and gets them involved at a very early stage in the impact they can have on their own environment and the simple steps we can all take to improve matters at very little cost”.
Derek Davidson announced that Roundhay Rotary Club would be running the competition next year and hoped to expand it to many more Nursery and Primary Schools in the area.