UCD-led BioBeo EU project promotes native tree planting with Geevagh Ladies Football Team in “Cruinniú na gCrann” event
The BioBeo Horizon Europe project coordinated by Associate Professor Tom of UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering was pleased to collaborate with Geevagh Ladies Gaelic Football Club on a tree planting event called “Cruinniú na gCrann”, the gathering or meeting of trees. The activity coincided with National Tree Week and aligns well with the BioBeo project objective of delivering bioeconomy education programmes.
Geevagh Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) Club was founded in 1995 in County Sligo, and are pleased to have been nominated to represent the County this year in the Lidl #OneGoodClub programme. There has been huge success in recent years with the Geevagh Ladies winning a number of Senior Championship titles and also representing Sligo in the Connacht Senior Championship. The ‘One Good Club’ programme is an initiative developed by Lidl, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and Jigsaw, the national centre for Youth Mental Health, with the aim of promoting positive mental health. This is an opportunity for Geevagh LGFA to promote positive mental health within their community.
The initiative follows a five-step programme to positive mental health: Be Active, Take Notice, Connect, Give and Keep Learning. As part of the Take Notice stage, Geevagh LGFA partnered with the BioBeo Horizon Europe project which is aiming to develop and pilot new education programmes about the bioeconomy in preschools, primary schools and secondary schools. The five BioBeo themes of Interconnectedness, Outdoor Learning, Forestry, Food Loop and Life Below Water overlap with many aspects of the One Good Club programme.
For the Cruinniú na gCrann event, some members of Geevagh GAA ladies senior team and younger teams planted 15 tree saplings (oak, willow, and hazel) gathered from around the local area to represent the team members gathering at the sportsfield.
Coincidentally, there are 15 partners in the BioBeo project consortium as well as 15 EU Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors who were appointed by the European Commission. Tom Curran spoke of his memories of growing up across from the pitch and the intense relationship between nature and the sportsfield due to the damage caused by significant landslides in 1984 and 2008 which followed the path of a river from the nearby mountain. As a result, a new all-weather pitch and playground was developed on higher ground across the river. This event highlighted the potential for rewilding a large portion of the grounds with the planting of these trees. A sign was erected at this new pollinator-friendly area near the pitch, which will support the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.