Community Tree Projects Grants Scheme 2013 Launched
‘A Gift of Trees’
4th December, 2012
Earlier this week, the Tree Council of Ireland, in partnership with Balfour Beatty CLG, launched a new Community Tree Project Grants Scheme to support organisations at local level who are attempting to improve their local area through the planting of trees
In these difficult times, the Tree Council and Balfour Beatty CLG recognise the challenge for groups and organisations who want to do something positive in their communities and the aim of this funding scheme is to assist local groups in the achievement of well-planned tree planting initiatives. The application process is competitive and projects will be judged on their ability to fulfil key criteria such as providing long term benefits in locations with little greenery or tree cover, applying good practice in the selection, planting and management of trees, active engagement of the local community in the project and having in place a plan for ensuring the proper care and maintenance of the trees into the future. Successful applicants will receive up to 75% towards their project costs subject to a maximum grant of €500 per project. The grants scheme is aimed at groups who are community focussed and which foster participation across the generations.
Community tree projects can include planting individual trees on streets and public green spaces, establishment of small, native woodlands on publicly accessible land for amenity and biodiversity, commemorative tree planting initiatives or perhaps planting a collection of fruit trees as community orchards. The sites available for such projects are often unused or neglected areas that can be transformed by the planting of trees.
The most effective community tree projects are those undertaken by local people with an understanding of local needs and attitudes. By assisting local groups to develop tree projects within their community, the idea is to create a sense of shared ownership of the trees and foster pride amongst the community in ‘their’ trees. Tree projects that originate from within a community will invariably have a greater chance of success and endurance than those that are put in place by an outside agency.
Julie Maund, Corporate Responsibility Manager with Balfour Beatty CLG, said ‘We are delighted to sponsor this Community Tree Project Grants Programme as part of our Corporate Responsibility Programme. It is consistent with our commitment to improving the environment in communities across Ireland, with the involvement of local people’.
Mary Keenan, Director of the Tree Council said, ‘While the Tree Council promotes recognition of the benefits of trees at national level, Ireland’s cities, towns and villages still need more of the right trees in the right places. The provision of a funding mechanism to assist the implementation of community tree projects will enable communities to derive these benefits for themselves. We look forward to working with Balfour Beatty CLG on this project.’
If you have an idea for a tree planting project in your community, you may be able to access funding for your project through this new grants scheme. For application forms, and more information about how to apply, visit www.treecouncil.ie . The closing date for receipt of applications is January 20th 2013.
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For Further Information, please contact:
Tree Council of Ireland: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Keenan, Executive Director
Trees enhance the places where we live, learn, work, rest and play. They make neighbourhoods more attractive, healthy places to live and yield benefits such as cleaner air, flood control, noise abatement, enhancement of wildlife habitats, better physical and mental health, increased property values and a more desirable location for businesses and tourism. For example, a large tree can produce enough oxygen for up to four people each day. One hectare of trees generates enough oxygen each day for 43 people. It takes about 500 large trees to absorb the CO2 produced by a typical car driven 20,000km/year. Properly placed trees can reduce residential heating and energy costs by an estimated 20 to 50 percent. The presence of trees can boost economic activity in a neighbourhood and increases property and land values by up to 15%.
About Balfour Beatty CLG
Balfour Beatty CLG is a joint venture between Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions and CLG Developments Ltd, working with Bord Gais to install and maintain gas transmission and distribution networks across Ireland.
Balfour Beatty CLG works at the heart of local communities in Ireland and around the world as part of the wider Balfour Beatty Group. Our team is dedicated to building long-term, collaborative relationships with the communities in which we work, and with other organisations and stakeholders.
We believe that in addition to the contribution we make to the physical fabric of society we have a responsibility to support its social fabric too. We are committed to leaving a legacy in the communities that surround us, to encourage active citizen participation, as well as a proactive contribution from our own employees.
About the Tree Council of Ireland
The Tree Council of Ireland is an umbrella body for organisations involved in tree planting, management and conservation. The main role of the Tree Councils is to promote the planting, care and enjoyment of trees and it does this through networking with its members and friends, the organisation of events, educational programmes and tree related activities, the publication of literature, the management of national tree records and through the provision of an information service to the public.