It’s a planting ‘Par-Tee’: School children plant over 1,000 native trees at Tolka Valley Park and Eco-Golf Club
Children from St. Malachy’s School, Finglas are the latest in Dublin to join in a global tree planting initiative. The third to sixth class children are having Action Days with a green theme during St. Patrick’s Festival. Each child in the school is digging in to complete the planting of 1,000 oak, alder, birch, holly and maple trees lining the valley.
“This initiative extends the existing woodland which anchors the soil along the riverbanks providing welcome wildlife habitats”, explains Michael Burke of Fingal County Council’s parks department, whose team are supporting the children. “These predominantly native trees will prevent erosion and mitigate flooding. We lost a lot of our willows due to their age and recent strong wings.”, Michael continued. “Local people are now catching wild brown trout because of our constructive wetland programme here. These new trees provide important shelter for the fish who need shade to spawn.”
The 1,000 saplings were donated by Coillte for this worthy cause and supplemented by suitable native acers from the Dublin City Council stock. These trees have been selected to make provision for Dublin’s future climate and to ensure resilience in the new woodland. Several of our native species, such as the Ash, have had to be struck from the planting list due to disease.
Dublin City Council’s Tolka Valley Park and Eco-golf course is under ecological management. The regime includes organic soil-improvers with a seaweed origin and employs the internationally recognized pest management system to combat weeds. Wild flower pollinators are allowed to grow freely in the long grass alongside drifts of spring daffodils. Each of the children received a code to return once the golf club opens officially after St. Patrick’s festival when they can claim a free game of golf (with an adult) on this magnificently managed par-3 course.
The planting party, which began earlier this week, was preceded by a presentation by Orla Farrell, Easy Treesie project leader to the staff of St. Malachy’s School and the green schools’ committee. The theme was the importance of tree planting for capturing carbon dioxide. The school intends to offset the carbon it uses for energy by planting these local trees and so win their next International Green Flag. “It is a pleasure to properly recognize and thank the almost 150 children here this week for coming out in this blustery weather to improve our public park”, said Orla who is a teacher and former Dublin City Councillor. “The native Irish trees chosen here by Dublin City Council will help improve the local amenity, combat global warming and increase biodiversity in the area. We are delighted to be affording these children the chance to be stewards of their own local environment” she said.
The Easy Treesie team were joined by many local volunteers including parents and grandparents of the school children.
Further information on the initiative may be found at www.easyTreesie.com