National Tree Week is an annual festival organised by the Tree Council of Ireland. This year members of Ardee Tidy Towns, Louth County Council (Environment Section) and Groundswell organised a Tree Tribe of school children who shouted “Trees Rule” as they walked down the main road of Ardee to a tree planting site, located near the town’s playground. Members of Ardee Tidy Towns, Ardee Active Retirement group and the Irish Wheelchair Association also joined in on the campaign to plant more trees.

A new circular planting area, reflecting a circle of people living and growing together in the community was planted with nature-friendly plants. Ardee Town and County Louth officials welcomed the Tree Tribe’s contribution to not only National Tree Week, but to the UN Year of the Forest 2011, “Celebrating Forest for People”. The special guest for the day was Mary Keenan, Executive Director of the Tree Council of Ireland, who spoke about the significance of trees, and our personal relationship to them in her speech.

Children from Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire, Ardee Educate Together and the Monastery National School planted two Rowan trees. Rowan is traditionally associated with fire, because of its bright red berries. The Rowan trees reflect the fiery spirit of the Tree Tribe. A willow hedge was also planted within the circular planting area. Willow traditionally represents the ability to move in all directions, to dance, and to go with the flow.

The Ardee Library and Create Louth (The Arts Service of Louth Local Authorities) both supported this event, which combined art, pageantry, and environmental education.

The photos are children from Ardee Educate Together, and Brendan Matthews and Mary Dunne (Ardee Tidy Towns)