Celebrating Earth Day 2019
While 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the idea for a day to focus on the environment came about 50 years ago following a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969. Inspired by the student anti-war movement in the US at the time, Gaylord Nelson realised that if he could marry that same energy with an emerging public consciousness about pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the political agenda. That work continues today, and Earth Day 2019 focuses on protecting endangered species throughout the world including insects, birds and bees. With this year’s theme in mind, we’d like to introduce you to some of our neighbours in the stadium…
Setting up home in the Cusack Stand
It’s a cosy 1-roomed property near the entrance to the Cusack Stand and once late Spring arrives, families set up home for the season ahead! However, you won’t find this property on any rental website as we’re talking about Croke Park’s specially made bird boxes. Used by blue tits to nest and rear their young chicks, our sustainability team are delighted that for the last few years, the stadium becomes home for these young families. The nesting boxes are made from woodcrete and woodstone and are carefully designed to mimic natural nest sites and provide a stable environment for chick rearing and winter roosting. This is not the first time we’ve welcomed short-term neighbours as a few years ago, we received the exciting news of new residents who had set up their home behind the big screen in the Davin stand! Our new neighbours were a pair of ravens who had chosen the stadium as their seasonal nesting site. Several chicks hatched safely on that occasion.
Croke Park – also a home for our ‘creepy’ neighbours
While they may not be everyone’s favourite, insects have also become endangered. Tragically, over the past four decades, scientists have observed a 45% decline in the overall insect population across the world, so we are working hard to support and attract our local insect neighbours around the stadium. We opened our own bug hotel, the “Croke Park Bug Bee & Bee” in 2015. Created from natural materials and consists of several different sections which provide shelter & safe nesting areas for many types of insects, the Croke Park Bug Bee & Bee is always open for our local insect population for either a short or long-term stay!
We’re all a buzz
Since last year, we’ve also been working with local beekeepers from Fingal Super Foods on introducing beehives at our turf farm in North County Dublin. Honey bees play a crucial role in the global eco-system to the point that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination by honey bees! They have, however, become an endangered and threatened species, and we are conscious of the part we can play here & we look forward to having our very own honey on the menu here in Croke Park before too long!