DERRY City and Strabane District Council are seeking volunteers to help with a tree planting day being held at Drumahoe District Park on Saturday November 24th from 10am to midday.
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.
Speaking ahead of the planting day, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, 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 City and District to plant the trees.
“Saturday’s event is an ideal way to get out into the outdoors and enjoy the health benefits while contributing to a project that can help improve our air quality and improve the local landscape so I would encourage people to register now and get involved.
“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.
If using Park and Ride please take extra care when crossing the Glenshane Road. 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 and Strabane District Council by calling 028 71 253253 .
If you would like to volunteer for the tree planting day please register at www.derrystrabane.com/plantingday
Register early as places are limited.