Volunteers sought for tree planting event this weekend

Jane Deeney with Derry City and Strabane District Council Park Ranger Frankie Quigley planting a Life Project tree at Ballyarnett Country Park to mark the registration of the birth of her daughter Emilia.
Jane Deeney with Derry City and Strabane District Council Park Ranger Frankie Quigley planting a Life Project tree at Ballyarnett Country Park to mark the registration of the birth of her daughter Emilia.

Derry City & Strabane District Council is seeking volunteers to help with a tree planting day being held at Drumahoe District Park tomorrow (Saturday) from 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon.

The session is being held to mark the start of National Tree Week and will see 1,000 sapling trees being planted as part of the Life Project - a joint initiative between council, the Public Health Agency and the North West Regional College where a new tree is planted to mark the registration of significant life events in the council area.

The scheme was launched earlier in the year and sees every birth, death, civil partnership and marriage registered in council’s District Registration Offices in Derry and Strabane marked by the planting of an Oak, Birch or Rowan sapling as part of a wider regional strategy to improve air quality and the public’s mental health.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor John Boyle, encouraged as many people as possible to get involved in the event by registering their attendance online. “I am delighted that the project has proved such a success this year,” he said. “It’s a novel initiative that has captured the public’s imagination and is a poignant means of marking and remembering the registrations of birth, deaths, civil partnerships and marriages in our city and district.

“Many registering families have planted the tree at their own properties but, for those who don’t have a suitable location, council will identify suitable sites across the district to plant the trees.

“Air pollution is something that affects all of our well-being and represents the biggest environmental risk to the public’s health so there is a responsibility on all of us to make a conscious effort to protect and improve our air quality.”

All tools including spades, gloves and spirals will be provided on the day and helpers will be on hand on the day to give tree planting advice.

Car parking is available at Drumahoe Play Park (access via steps) and Drumahoe Park and Ride.

For health and safety reasons volunteers are requested not to bring dogs with them.

Two hours have been allocated for the initial plant but if there is a large interest from volunteers a second session may be arranged.

Design students at NWRC have had a central role in the development of the initiative which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and will see around 4,000 new trees planted in the City and District each year.

As well as issuing the new trees, the Public Health Agency have issued relevant campaign literature relating to each registration such as breast feeding information for birth registrations.

Further information on the Life Project is available at www.derrystrabane.com/lifeproject or through the Environmental Health Department of Derry City & Strabane District Counci.

Those wishing to volunteer for tomorrow, register at www.derrystrabane.com/plantingday.