Once upon a time there was a six-year old girl whose teacher told her that Ireland had fewer trees than almost every other country in the world, even though once it was covered with trees*. *Except for in a few very high-up or sopping-wet places. The teacher, the lovely Bean Uí Chléirigh who smiled almost all of the time was not smiling when she drew a squirrel on the blackboard* hopping from the top of the Ireland map to the bottom from tree to tree and then crossed it out. *The blackboard was actually green because the school, Scoil Bhríde was an all-Irish school and still is. So for that reason we loved green things in that school; we wore green jumpers (mine were very itchy even though they were knitted by my granny, jumpers often were itchy back then and woolly vests were even worse), green ties and belt and we were surrounded by green trees too.
Everyday the girl thought how sad it was that forest creatures had no homes and that we had so few trees to enjoy because she loved climbing trees even though back in those days girls’ clothes were not very nice for this activity. (the itchy vest and jumper made you very hot while at the same time bare legs, with knee-socks that would always fall down made you feel very cold at the same time). Actually a lot of poor girls are still forced to wear skirts and falling-down-socks to school. Strange.
One day while swinging from a rope tied in a tree in her back garden, which was her favourite thing to do, she decided it was such fun that she would plant lots of trees when she was old enough to organise this.
Because of that, when she got a chance as a teacher many years later to plant trees in her school grounds in Baldoyle with the boys in her Green Committee, she jumped at the opportunity.
Because of that she saw how easy and fun it was to plant trees and she decided to help school children all over the country to do the same.
Until finally she has organised 400k trees to be delivered all over the country and planted; she will reach that number planted in 2022 she hopes – with lots of help!
Orla says THANK YOU, TREE PLANTERS AND SUPPORTERS!