Students from Carnane National School, Co. Limerick participating in An Taisce’s Learning about Forests (LEAF) programme celebrated Tree Week, Friday 10 March, at Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park, Co. Limerick.
The LEAF programme explores forests as a whole and looks at topics such as biodiversity, water, climate change, products and community and actions students can undertake to help protect and enhance our forests. Rachel Geary, LEAF National Coordinator said ‘The team is thoroughly enjoying working with the schools, exploring how schools can engage with this exciting new programme in a meaningful and fun way’.
The programme also recognises the importance of tree planting and giving students the opportunity to sow seeds for the future. An Taisce teamed up with the Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte to provide native saplings for Limerick schools participating on the LEAF programme and took part in a tree planting ceremony at the forest to celebrate Tree Week.
240 native saplings were distributed to 15 of the participating schools, in Co. Limerick, for planting in their schools grounds and the wider community during Tree Week. A further 60 saplings were planted in Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park during Tree Week with three of the schools that visited the Curragh Chase for their Forest Based Workshops. These interactive workshops aim to reconnect the students with their environment, educating them to be more conscious of protecting it and instilling in students a sense of ownership of the natural world that surrounds them.
Brendan Fitzsimons, CEO of the Tree Council of Ireland said ‘The Tree Council of Ireland are delighted to be associated with the LEAF programme. These LEAF students will remember planting a tree for National Tree Week every time they visit Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park. Coillte have been donating trees for National Tree Week for many years, which is a tremendous help to the Tree Council of Ireland.’
This year the emphasis is on Coillte’s Curragh Chase Forest Park as a focal point for training and events in the region. The park, which is managed by Coillte, covers 313 hectares of mixed woodlands, park land and lakes which together provide a rich habitat for a diverse range of animals and plants.
Pat Neville, Coillte said ‘Coillte are very proud to be associated with An Taisce’s Learning about Forests programme and are delighted to offer our forest park in Curragh Chase as a venue for school children to learn more about forests and the natural environment in a wonderful outdoor setting’.