CHILDREN and teachers from across the district were hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council in recognition of their environmental work at the annual Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards.
Nine local schools received Green Flags, with others being recognised as Ambassador Schools.
The Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards for 2022 have been sponsored by educational supplies and learning resource company, Nexus.
Schools honoured at the Green Flag event included:
Green Flag Award: Castlederg High School, Ebrington Primary School, Fountain Primary School, Gaelscoil Eadain Mhoir, Holy Child Primary School, Killen Primary School, St Catherine's Primary School, Strabane, Strabane Controlled Primary School, Trench Road Nursery School
Ambassador Schools: St Columba's Primary School, Clady
Biodiversity Champion for Derry City and Strabane District Council (sponsored by Radius Housing): Trench Road Nursery School
Eco-Teacher of the Year for Derry City and Strabane District Council (sponsored by Twinkl): Nicole Sloane, Foyle College
Eco-School of the Year for Derry City and Strabane District Council (sponsored by NI4Kids): Ebrington Primary School
Council's head of Environment, Conor Canning, said: "Our local children work tremendously hard and their passion about the environment is inspiring.
"Their commitment is seen first-hand by our council officers when they visit our schools and work alongside them in our local parks to improve biodiversity.
"It is wonderful to have the opportunity to recognise the efforts of our young people. Each and every school has something to celebrate, whether they've received their full green flag or are making good progress towards that goal.
"The ideas that our local schools, teachers and Eco-councils progress are very suitable to their space and improving their community.
"The Eco-Schools programme brings environmental issues right into the heart of the curriculum which gives me great hope for the future. I'd like to congratulate the children, their teachers and their parents for being such a shining example to us all."
Charlene McKeown who manages the international Eco-Schools programme in Northern Ireland on behalf of environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, added: "The Eco-Schools team has been really impressed by the quality of applications from schools in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
"Schools have had a difficult time during the pandemic but teachers and eco co-ordinators at so many schools have worked very hard to build our Green Flag 'seven steps' approach back into the daily lives of their pupils.
"We've been providing extra support through our new network of field officers and are delighted to see that approach being wholeheartedly embraced by schools.
"I'd like to thank all of our sponsors for helping us to continue to grow the Eco-Schools programme and investing in the future of our children and our planet."
Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: "We're so proud of our flagship Eco-Schools programme.
"The opportunity to award schools with their Green Flags is a moment to reflect on how far we've come in terms of environmental education but also to say that we absolutely can't rest on our laurels.
"The environmental emergency facing our planet is real and Eco-Schools is helping to educate and inform our young people so that they can be part of the change that is urgently needed."