Ireland
Success Story 2013

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Waterford Institute of Technology had a highly successful Fascination of Plants Day

Events led by Dr Cara Daly included beach art, photography and botanical drawing. For more details see Facebook and web pages
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/ . . .
http://www.calmast.ie/gallery/bealtaine-festival-of-outdoor-science-day-1
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Fascination of Plants Day 2013: Ollscéala

On May 18th, the second ever ‘Fascination of Plants Day’ (http://www.plantday12.eu/home.htm and http://fascinationofplants.blogspot.ie/), plants were celebrated at thousands of events around the world for their remarkable beauty as well as their necessity; plants are responsible for generating most of our available energy, food, fuel, textiles, and building materials. Dr Zoë Popper (Botany and Plant Science, School of Natural Sciences http://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/zoepopper/) co-ordinated events in Ireland and organised NUI Galway-based activities with the assistance of Dr Dagmar Stengel (Botany and Plant Science, School of Natural Sciences and theme leader for algal biosciences http://www.nuigalway.ie/botany/stengel_home.html). ‘Our Fascinating Flora’ photography competition (Fig. 1–4) was open to everyone in Ireland and drew 340+ individual entries of such high standard that the judges had a very difficult time selecting the most fascinating! Posters of the winning photographs as well as composite posters (e.g. Fig. 2) including all submitted photographs were displayed in the foyer of the Orbsen building. On May 18th, an Art Workshop led by Gordon D’Arcy (http://www.gordondarcy.ie) highlighting the ecological importance of plants was attended by 35 children (6 years of age upwards) (Fig. 5–7). Gordon had the children (and their parents) captivated and busily drawing; as one parent noted in an e-mail afterwards ‘the children were star artists!’
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NUI Galway celebrates Fascination of Plants Day!
1. Display of winning and ‘highly commended’ entries.
2. One of the six composite posters displaying all entries.
3. Marie Coyne from Inishbofin with her winning photograph, Inishbofin daisies.
4. Display of composite posters.
5. Young artist drawing Burren flowers.
6. Gordon D’Arcy discussing colour with one of the artists.
7. Gordon D’Arcy describing the wonder of dandelions!