Schoolchildren across County Roscommon will plant 7,500 native trees this autumn as part of an eco-initiative to help protect local water sources, enhance biodiversity and capture carbon.
The community initiative, being launched as part of Rural Water Week, is also intended to inspire the next generation and their families to think about sustainability.
The initiative has been developed by the group water scheme sector and Roscommon County Council, with the support of developer, Ballymore, and Irish children’s charity, Variety Ireland.
National school children across the county will receive online information about the damaging consequences of pesticide use and the importance of biodiversity enhancement. Just before mid-term, every child will receive a tree, sponsored by Ballymore, as well as a certificate recognising the child’s role as ‘an advocate for biodiversity’ in their own homes.
Welcoming the rollout of the initiative, Mid-Roscommon GWs manager, Noel Carroll explains its importance.
“Pesticide usage in gardens and on verges outside households poses a threat to the quality of water that comes out of our taps and to biodiversity in general. When children understand this, they can play a vital role in persuading their parents, uncles and aunties to stop spraying these toxic substances.
“We trialled this initiative in Tulsk and Four Mile House National Schools earlier this year and could see the enthusiasm of the children and how they understood just how important it is to protect our local water sources and biodiversity”.
Sean Mulryan, Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Ballymore, adds: “We take sustainability and biodiversity seriously on all our projects and I’m thrilled to be a part of this. It’s a fantastic idea that will make a big impact on the education of children and on the future of Roscommon”.
Senior Executive Officer with Roscommon County Council, Catherine Finlay says that the ‘I’ve planted a tree and my garden is pesticide free’ schools initiative “has the potential to bring lasting benefits to drinking water sources across the county and to the communities that rely on them”.