Over 500 native Irish trees have been planted on Cork’s northside as part of the Gurranabraher and Churchfield Green Spine Initiative.
A micro urban-woodland of mixed native trees, called the Groovee Grove, is growing on a quarter acre south-facing bank opposite the grotto at Sun Valley Park.
The planting is described as a high ‘Biodiversity Impact Action’ that will enhance biodiversity in the area. The close planting of a micro-urban-woodland enables high carbon capture from the atmosphere. Native varieties include birch, alder, hazel, Scots Pine, oak, hawthorn, willow and rowan.
The HSE Health Action Zone (HAZ) Project and Youth Work Ireland Cork are leading the project which is funded and supported by Cork City Council. The trees were sourced by local group "Treesplease" whose nursery is based at council-owned Churchfield allotments.
Joe Curtain, youth worker at Gurranabraher youth centre, The Hut said: “The Groovee Grove has been a great vehicle to get local young people involved in their community through the Green Spine Initiative. The planting has really given them a sense ownership of the area and really grown local interest in biodiversity so they will look after it into the future. Also, the trees are going to massively enhance the area”, he said.
“The young people who did the planting are part of the Bike Group in The Hut and, even though the planting was done individually, we had a great discussion about it afterwards on Zoom; they are also looking to advocate for a bike track in the area for bicycles”
Stephen Scully, from Cork City Council Parks & Recreation Department said: “We very much welcome the inclusion of young people in this intervention which will make a big difference to the locality and impact as a learning process for all involved”.
At total of 28 apple trees were also planted with Scoil Padre Pio, St Mary's Primary Care Campus (orthopaedic), B45 Preschool and at Sun Valley park. Another Groovee Grove is being established on the rooftop of The Hut and an Oak Ogham Circle is being developed in the Quad of St Marys Campus with HSE staff.
An event will be held next month to welcome the trees and to help local youth and community groups to support the trees as they grow.