We love our trees here in Cork.
Now a pilot UCC project that turned a tree-lined university campus into a ‘living classroom’ has received funding to roll the initiative out nationwide.
The Tree Explorers project at University College Cork (UCC) involved the development of tree tours around UCC’s glorious grounds – a recognised arboretum– along with workshops, public talks, educational materials, a self-guided map, and a series of videos.
Led by Dr Eoin Lettice, Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich and Prof Claire Connolly of UCC, the Irish Tree Explorers Network (ITEN) has now received funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to take what has been learned from the project’s success in Cork and bring it to a national audience.
Through developing partnerships with Coillte, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Tree Council of Ireland, ITEN will engage even more people with the importance of trees, nature, and the environment through important tree collections.
Dr Lettice said the team is excited that SFI continues to see the value in their work:
“Increasingly, trees and nature, in general, are being recognised for the host of economic, biodiversity, health, and social benefits that they bring.” Dr Lettice said.
“ITEN is an opportunity to engage even more people with the importance of our trees and the tangible benefits that they can provide – whether that is tackling climate change, increasing biodiversity, or adding to the beauty of our urban and rural landscape.”
The project is one of four UCC projects that have today been awarded a joint €451,000 in funding from the SFI Discover Programme.