A collective group of Volun-TREE individuals, schools and associations committed to be part of a climate change solution – one tree at a time. Now in our third challenging planting season, Easy Treesie is on track to reach our goal:
1M trees planted by 2023-4 with Ireland’s 1M Irish schoolchildren and their communities.
(Then what? More treesies, pleasie, in Ireland and across the globe!)
Easy Treesie Founder: Orla Farrell
Orla is a registered teacher at primary and second level with a background in educational administration including at adult level…
She’s a fortunate Irish Mammy of grown children who are forced to listen to tree stories at every encounter…
(& guess what?… was selected as one of Ireland’s top 50 Social Entrepreneurs by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Though this is simply a project, not a commercial business)
Orla served as a public representative on Dublin City Council for the Clontarf Ward which gives her a good understanding of local government and a heads-up on some of the workings of national politics.
She had always dreamed of planting a big forest since hearing of the benefits of trees as a schoolgirl but had not found a way to realise this dream. A teacher’s salary is a modest one for this ambition so she looked another way of Re-Leafing Ireland. She confesses to being not much of a gardener – that would be her husband – so she called in the experts. The project began with planting with Conservation Volunteers of a 300-sapling woodland grove and native hedgerow at the school where she was teaching in Dublin for the Millenium celebrations in 1999. As the trees grew she wondered how other schools, even ones with no space could enjoy this experience. She was very much inspired by Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth” and the TED talk, “Plant a Tiny Forest” talk by Shubhendu Sharma. She discovered that Tiny Woodlands were being established in 60 countries with the goal of planting 1m trees set as a challenge by Felix, the then nine-year-old founder of Plant for the Planet and she set out to carry out this challenge in Ireland. The International Model was to run Climate Academies with Planting Parties, traditionally on Saturdays. Orla’s tweak on the international template was after organising a few, to involve school communities instead on school days. So many Irish children and their parents are so busy at the weekend! After involving children of neighbouring schools to her own in Baldoyle, soon the next towns of Malahide, Portmarnock and Swords joined in and then the project went almost-Nationwide with the collaboration of registered charity Crann, Trees for Ireland, the Tree Council of Ireland and a host of generous supporters including the nurseries of Coillte and Trees on the Land.
Because the idea of tree-planting with local school children and their communities was organizationally challenging even for someone who like Orla likes to organize, she thought she would see what she could do to help others get started tree planting in their own locality. She made films of the steps along the way; the first, a series with Tree Council now-president, Éanna Ni Lamhna called about Ireland’s 28 native tree species called the “Irish Tree Trail”, another on 3 steps to planting a sapling, others on the why behind the project and she keeps making them to share what’s been done. Orla co-ordinates the three-ring circus, connecting tree-planters, tree-lovers, other volunteers and interns with tree-providers and sponsors as a sort of kick-starter to get people planting trees in their communities in whatever corners they can find. Once they start they don’t want to stop!
“I love children’s enthusiasm to care for nature, so many adults also want to take environmental action. I go around putting the elements together to enable this to happen. Most people are just doing their best. Virtual life has left us feeling out of touch with nature, tree planting is a simple and easy activity that has long term benefits with a cascade of positive results”
Orla Farrell – Linkedin