Congratulations to Biodiversity Heroes at Tolka River Valley Park
For immediate release
CONGRATULATIONS TO COLÁISTE EOIN ETB FINGLAS AS IT PUTS THE FINISHING TOUCHES TO THE 1,000 TREE PROJECT AT SALMON HABITAT
This year is International Year of the Salmon and pupils on the fringes of the Finglas and Tolka rivers have been doing their bit to is to establish the conditions necessary to ensure the resilience of salmon and people in their locality.
It is not widely known that due to the extraordinary efforts of the Biodiversity, Parks and environment teams from Dublin City Council, ours is one of the few capital cities in the world where salmon and trout are swimming in a city river. Local angling clubs of course have also had a major part to play in the re-stocking and monitoring of these species. All this would not have happened without the visionary planning going back many years and in particular the truly astonishing turnaround in water and environmental quality that sees a former landfill site now a flourishing nature reserve and haven for local people and wildlife. Anne Marie Harris has been at the helm of this project for many years and visitors to the parks on the Tolka have noticed not only the first rate layout of these parks with their tree trails, fountain and new picnic benches but the regular sight of birds such as the kingfisher and dipper.
Local school children have been eager to play their part. Many indeed are ardent fisher folk as they explained recently when an RTE film crew came along to see their work planting trees for all at their local park. Three local schools have planted the astonishing 1,008 trees at this location, a mixture of native trees suitable for this riverbank park such as alder, birch and hazel. Trees were supplied by Coillte and by Dublin City Council and the tree planting took place commencing just before National Tree Week and finishing in time for World Environment Day in June. Mick Burke and his team were out in all weathers to assist the children and to explain the importance of the work to them. The park now benefits from increased protection from flooding during the ever-more-frequent heavy rainfall events through planting of an alder grove at the bend of the river next to the Business Park entrance. The planting along the riverbanks near the bridge of other suitable species will help mop up flooding and indeed also helps to clean both soil and water at the same time. During hot weather these mostly broadleaved species will provide welcome shade for fish to spawn and for bird nesting. The children were supported by many local and national politicians who came along to see the work at their new outdoor classroom, an oak-tree “henge”, including Noel Rock T.D., European and Local election candidates Alex White and Mary Callaghan. Dublin City Council had their teams out in force with some very impressive heavy machinery to do the “heavy lifting” for the children, some of whom were as young as eight years old. Lorraine Bull, Dublin’s new Biodiversity Officer came along to encourage children on the day when the local Autism Unit came to put the finishing touches to this year’s planting season and to carry out the planting of three mature hawthorn trees. The youngsters were interested to know of the magic tales attached to the Hawthorn. These trees are working their magic already, providing a haven for local wildlife and especially the bees, who love the pollen from these hedgerow favourites. The children were excited to hear that some of the trees which were planted on the riverbank, on the public golf course and overlooking the road can live to over 1,000 years. Easy treesie founder Orla Farrell who pulled the project together as part of the UNIPEDE-backed Plant-for-the-Planet challenge commended the local children and teachers as well as the many volunteers which included family members of the children for their superb environmental impact. She asked that the children would think to bring some water to hydrate the new baby trees should we have any spells of extreme heat or dry weather in their first years – “grey” or collected rainwater being the best choice for watering! Orla thanked the Irish Environmental Network which sponsored the final phase of this season during Biodiversity Week, giving a chance for the children to take a bow for their stewardship of their local salmon and local area.
The “Easy Treesie” initiative is part of the UN sponsored “Plant-for-the-Planet” programme inspired by teacher and Nobel Laureate Wangari Mathai and aims to plant 1 trillion trees globally.
Children in over 100 countries have come together to tackle climate change through the symbolic and practical means of planting a tree in their locality.
Further information on the initiative may be found at www.easyTreesie.com .