To celebrate the second year of a GAA Native Tree Planting Project and mark National Tree Week 2023, representatives of the GAA and the Tree Council of Ireland gathered at Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence on Saturday, March 25th.
1200 saplings will be planted this week at the Kerry GAA Centre of Excellence in Currans, in the heart of the Kingdom, while thousands more will be planted in GAA, LGFA and Camogie Clubs in the GAA’s Green Club Programme.
The project is supported by Coillte (www.coillte.ie) – who have donated 50,000 saplings to project for the second year in a row – and the Depart of Agriculture, Forestry and the Marine, through its Woodlands Support Fund, as well as the Easy Treesie – Crann Project (www.easytreesie.com).
Coillte and Trees on the Land (www.treesontheland.com) are delivering the native saplings, which will be used to create shelter belts, planted along walkways and to generally enhance the natural landscape and biodiversity of sites.
Planting trees is recommended in the guidelines on pollinator-friendly management of sports clubs by the National Biodiversity Datacentre. Biodiversity is one of 5 themes being explored through the GAA Green Club Programme (www.gaa.ie/greenclub ), which is a partnership between the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association and local authorities across Ireland.
Organised by The Tree Council of Ireland and proudly supported by Coillte, National Tree Week has been running for over 35 years, with this year’s theme of ‘Biodiversity Begins With Trees,’ is designed to inspire people to plant and care for trees and to highlight the many benefits they provide to our environment and local communities.
Highlighting the importance of Tree Week, President of the Tree Council of Ireland, Eanna Ní Lamhna said: “National Tree Week, with the theme of ‘Biodiversity Begins with Trees,’ emphasises that trees are not just beautiful and essential to our environment, but they have the biggest role to play in slowing down biodiversity loss. It is our responsibility to plant and protect trees, not only for ourselves but for future generations.’
Jimmy D’Arcy, GAA Sustainability Manager said: “The GAA, and our Green Club Programme, are delighted with the donation of these native saplings to our clubs and units. While reinforcing our responsibility to our environment and biodiversity, through the Green Club Programme we will also be exploring how our Clubs function from a sustainability perspective, in terms of energy use, water, waste and transport. This work is directly related to our core values of Respect, Community Identity, and Teamwork – Respect not only for people but also the physical environment our Clubs inhabit, a sense of belonging and pride in our Communities and the places they represent, and Teamwork off the field, as well as on. The programme is a living expression of our manifesto; ‘Where We All Belong’.”
About the GAA Green Club Programme
The Green Club Programme was established to support Gaelic Games clubs in taking simple and effective sustainability action in their grounds and activities. The Programme is structured around the themes of Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Travel & Transport and is designed to promote sustainability awareness and action throughout Gaelic games communities. (www.gaa.ie/greenclub)
A GAA Green Club Toolkit was launched in December 2022. It contains resources, advice and guidance, tailored especially for GAA, LGFA and Camogie clubs and members, in the areas of Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Travel & Transport. The Toolkit also contains inspiring, practical case studies from Green Clubs from across the island of Ireland.
The Toolkit is available at: https://learning.gaa.ie/greenclub
About the Tree Council of Ireland
The Tree Council is an umbrella body for organisations involved in tree planting, management, and conservation. The main role of the Tree Council is to promote the planting, care and enjoyment of trees. The Tree Council aims to educate the public through the organisation of events and tree-related activities, the publication of literature, the management of national tree records and through the provision of an information service to the public.
About The Easy Treesie Project
The Easy Treesie Project aims to plant one million trees with Ireland’s one million school children and their communities by 2023 joining the UNESCO-backed Plant-for-the-planet’s www.trilliontreecampaign.org challenge, reducing global heating by 1° during the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-31.