“The Time for Awareness Building is Over”.

“We’re here to amplify real and credible solutions.” Different to what TED has done before. The Time for Solutions is Now. An optimistic and inclusive dialogue; participatory. That is what our #TEDxCrannTreesforIreland conference is about, Thursday 29 April 2021.

Amplifying local solutions. Our community is an essential part of this mix. Our group has access to solutions worth sharing; in our networks we put forward those with solutions worth spreading. Content that initiates action. Our TED Circles, small groups together has had 5 sessions since the Countdown launch event in October.

The broader the mix, the better! “Low Lift” is a new term for me; we had such an event at the launch. In fact it was not even our official event because we wanted to record our own local, credible climate action experts.

So that is the story re; our upcoming TEDxCrannTreesforIreland event on Thursday, 29 April, 11.30. I am thinking we may launch the tickets on next Saturday, Earth Day.

Unbelievable as this may seem in the modern era, our email seems to have completely seized after the “Nationwide” broadcast and the deluge of good wishes. So we are not panicking here. It will all get sorted. We are focusing on putting out some great TEDxCrannTreesforIreland climate solution expert talks in the coming weeks. @PureClothing planted the last 1,000 trees for Tree Week yesterday and they made a film. We will get sorted by degrees, we can’t do any more bare root planting until the winter so there are no worries. Our ambitions are huge and as you know we prioritise public space for planting, the reasons are obvious. We aim to delight, if you are not on our list so far we will look at adding you for the coming seasons. In the meantime you can support local nurseries. Between now and Science Week in November our tree planting will be largely ceremonial and given the Level 5 restrictions that will not be too common so check out our “Irish Tree Trail” film series on the Tree Council website, cut your carbon however you can and share your good ideas and we’ll chat when things are up and running!

“Climate Change Recovery” ; training via video conference Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 4:45 PM to 10:00 PM (UTC)

Welcome! April 17, 2021 Earth Video Conference Youth Climate Training — Registration — Students Link for students, aged 9 plus to register, right up to University level ! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSewAh8gkcFDfx8ujVXM91e7i4tM0bpaiQaqP_tBYnxYKM6UjA/viewform

I was very chuffed to receive this lovely invitation to share with our Easy Treesie – Crann, Trees for Ireland network from Pam Vergun. I had the pleasure of meeting Pam, who is a force of nature at the launch of the world Plant-for-the-Planet Trillion Tree Project in Monaco a while back – picture below, though Pam was busy that day marshalling the speakers including her son, Isaac for the main stage at the Princess Grace auditorium. (I had none of my children with me, and got to speak a lot of French, enjoy a lot of French vegetarian treats and meet Prince Albert!!!). We shared a room (with a few others) at the Youth Hostel in Vallecrosia, Italy and enjoyed lots of climate conversations and cups of tea with copious quantities of Plant-for-the-Planet hazelnut chocolate. Pam is behind some dramatic climate actions in recent years, including the landmark Youth v. Gov case which features in a recent film. What I do in Ireland, Pam is doing in the U.S. so I am really looking forward to going to this event. Of course we would all prefer to be there in person. Last time we were together we were planting lemon trees at the hostel, looking forward to doing that again!

Dear Orla,

We invite you to ask your students and friends in grades 4th-12th (Age 9 plus) and college students to register for our free Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE!) Youth Climate Training that is happening on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Not only will they learn about the climate crisis and how they can work to protect their future with other fun and caring people, they will also be able to use the skills and knowledge they gain for schoolwork and receive volunteer/culture hours for their participation. 

You can invite young people from your town, other states, and other countries, since this will be a video conference training. YAE youth teach and empower their peers to work for global climate justice as youth climate leaders. Students learn about the science behind the climate crisis, the related social impacts and how we can have fun with each other while working to address the crisis. We also have a free parents’ training that starts at the same time. We have trained over 375 youth thus far. We need your help to share this very special training directly with young people and parents you know. Most youth who have trained with us have done so because a friend or teacher spoke to them and encouraged them to do the training.

The training is on Saturday, April 17, 2021 from 8:45 AM to 2:00 PM (Pacific Time) via video conference.

It is hosted by Cool Islam and co-sponsored by Oregon Interfaith Power & Light and P’nai Or Jewish Renewal Congregation of Portland, Oregon and its Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Committee.

YAE trainings are effective at meeting the needs of a wide age range of students. In addition to students in grades 4-12, we now have college students and sometimes students in 2nd or 3rd grade joining by special arrangement. Through youth helping other youth build their ability to talk about this issue, students leave the Training with both increased knowledge and improved public speaking skills.

The parents’ meeting that takes place during the first part of the training gives parents more information and especially the opportunity to talk with other parents about climate change and how to support their youth in helping to create a better future.

Please let students and other staff know about this educational and community service opportunity, which can count as 5 hours of community service credit. At the end of the training,  students become YAE youth climate leaders who can volunteer to help teach other students in future trainings and help form a local team. Registration is available now at ClimateChangeRecovery.org.

Please post and share the attached flyer and speak directly with families and students who might be interested. You can also share it through our Facebook and Instagram:

Facebook: ClimateChangeRecovery

Instagram: ClimateChangeRecovery

Or, send them straight to: www.ClimateChangeRecovery.org to register. Volunteers can register there as well.

Please don’t hesitate to email me at vergun@alumni.stanford.edu with questions, including if you are interested in volunteering.


I’ve registered, see you there if you can make it! So looking forward to this.

An Update on All Things Trees!

Hi everybody; thank you so much for all the well wishes, calls and messages recently; here is what is going on this week; we are going hammer and tongs today gearing up for our upcoming TEDx Countdown event.

It is quite a challenge to get organised; our website crashed on “Nationwide” night, the official email packed in on Thursday so we are making do with patching up in terms of communications.

Due to the unprecedented success of a record National Tree Week and the length of our waiting list for participating communities and schools we are taking names, addresses and phone numbers only at this stage and will get back to you in the coming months with our new-season questions for you so we can best look after your requirements. Also let us know if you are under 18 as we copy in your parent/teacher/youth leader in any exchanges.

After every big initiative we like to conduct an evaluation; a what? It’s the Green Schools way and it works so that makes it our way too. It is of course rule 101 for teachers – to ask how did it go for everyone – and we are a teacher-lead project. Well No. 1 is we put your trees on the map where any planting has taken place over 100 saplings. We have to be sure there is no double counting obviously. So that is going to take a bit of time. We have a polygon-lesson coming up soon with Imogen Rabone on zoom (of Trees on the Land) and Brendan Fitzsimons of the Tree Council has an expert we are planning to look to for advice given the scale of our planting and the challenges of licensing requirements currently. Next we like to see how we can improve our service and ask for any other observations. We like praise and we welcome constructive criticism. So we’ll talk soon. In the meantime we’ve to #stoptalkingstartplanting as we are wrapping up our Tree Week 2021 project at the same time, with a nice bow.

P.S.; How cool is our logo. Thank you to co-organiser Canqi Li of Brown University who made it and all our team working away all distanced, looking forward to an Easter Egg feast whenever we can!

Jerusalema Dance; Easy Treesie Challenges You ;

And when you stop dancing, #startplanting !

We all loved the An Garda Síochána #JerusalemaChallenge ! Have you learned the steps yet, they are on @YouTube tutorials. Our team thought we would take a break during #TreeWeek and do a little dance to rise to the challenge. Thanks to everyone who danced and helped, (warning the rabbit has run away though, watch out for your saplings and signs they are being nibbled; if so, tree-guards!)

We love challenges, it’s why we are doing Felix Finkbeiner ‘s 1M challenge with Plant-for-the-Planet Deutschland (Official) which is now of course the 1t.org challenge !Over to you; what about the #Jerusalemachallenge in your favourite planting gear and then of course, #plantatree ! With almost 100k trees planted during our #NationalTreeWeek in our collaboration with our many friends (Thank you Tree Council of Ireland for all the help and for the #nativesaplings @Coillte and #TreesontheLand !!! And go #TreePlanters everywhere, please send us your pictures and videos till we give you a shout out! ) ; It’s all go here at the #TreeHouse. We are now busy organising for our upcoming TEDxCrannTreesForIreland TEDx#TEDxCountdown Conference on #EarthDay #2021. Our theme? #Restore ! Like it? Thanks to my co-organisor, Canqi Li! Meet some of the #TeamTreesIE Ideas Worth Spreading and it’s all about Trees as Part-Solution to the Climate Crisis; they can buy us 1 degree as we find other solutions. #TreeWeek2021 #Go Greener with Grangecon #Aileen O’Meara

Whose shoulders do you stand on? TedxCircle

2 great Questions from the poet, Amanda Gorman in her TED talk; here are a few of our answers from our TEDxCircle on Valentine’s Day 2021 as we focused on love! Thanks to all of you who contributed to this fascinating discussion! Let me know if you want to add or subtract to what you said in the chat yesterday or have thought of something since – as I have below.

 I asked my husband his opinion – he had been making the dinner in the kitchen as we talked; he too says he stood on the shoulders of his parents who were so amazing in how they managed to provide in the toughest of times and survive; and that he stands for “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and all the pie-in-the-sky stuff that’s gone out of fashion”.  As I think about his making my dinner as I sipped my cool drink, I am adding that I am standing on his shoulders too as he does the washup, the shopping, the garden as I busy myself with the tree planting! An he stands on mine, metaphorically.

I’m going to keep asking those questions of people I meet, they are thought-provoking!

Here is where she puts the questions; https://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_gorman_using_your_voice_is_a_political_choice?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare#

  1. Whose shoulders do you stand on?

Whose  shoulders  do  I stand on: Probably  my  mother’s  and  ….. ,  the  woman  who lived  with  us  for nine  years  and  was like a second mother to me.

My mother’s; she was an early adaptor. Did NOT want to be a farmer like her mother (drudgery). Did NOT want me to be a nurse like her, (more drudgery!). Gave me (and my brothers)every opportunity for educating ourselves so we would be equipped for life to the fullest & my Dad who backed her up. And all their ancestors who presumably were doing their very best and those everywhere supporting!

I stand on the shoulders of my mother and grandmother, and all the teachers of Ireland who innovated and worked to make our education system what it is.

I stand on the shoulders of my wonderful ancestors, mum, dad, and extended family

I’ll stand on anyone’s shoulders to get a better view (seriously I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors…)

My parents, mom and dad

I stand on the shoulders of those who fought for the vote, scientists, artists and musicians, who make our world so wonderful.

A giraffe has largest view of the world (biggest heart of any mammal, highest world view!)

And here is her great poem;


  • What do you stand for?

I stand for love

Salvaging life on the planet; Releafing Ireland with Ireland’s children to give them hope from carrying out a climate action and dispel gloooooooooooooooooooooom

My husband …. and I stand for truth

I  would  like  to  stand  for  courage…But  it’s  an ongoing  battle   with  lesser  self. I also  hope  I stand   for a generosity   of spirit.

I stand for kindness and looking at things intelligently.

I stand for equality

Stand for generations to come…

Being optimistic and giving people opportunities to talk to do things… Just time and space

I stand for honesty and taking care of self, others and the world we live in.

& I echo one of our group’s parting words….It  was  really lovely  to see  you all. Much  love  on  this  Valentine’s  Day.

All the Tree People are Connected in the Wood Wide Web!

Just saw an amazing video of the now tree-lined Electric Picnic OakTree Campsite!!!

I think #ElectricPicnic will have to go on my wish-list for my #postCovid19 #wishlist. #Tent ready! Bring on the #treehugging #glamping ! Just heard about this from James Kennedy of Aqua Homes; Thanks James!!! Just learned about Aqua Homes, BYEcocamping and more at the great session this morning with Shane and his team…he is the Enterprise Development Manager at Inner City Enterprise.It is so energising to tic tac with Social Entrepreneurs. It’s a few years now since I got into Socialentrepreneur Ireland’s top 50, I miss those amazing #hackathon sessions wow in Bankof Ireland at #grandcanaldock, the #Treemendous one ESB Electricity Supply Board one where we spent a whole weekend working on cool solutions of #electriccars at Dogpatch Labs and @ the Stripe building #educationhackathon where our project began! Happy memories of Marathon #socialising, #fingerscrossed l Guess who was there too; Pocket Forests !!!lol all the tree people are connected, it’s the wood wide web!!!