A biology student raised some â¬ 15,000 to plant native trees in Ireland after a forest fire ravaged Killarney National Park, destroying valuable habitat.
GearÃ³id Mc Evoy, 22, raised enough money to plant 15,000 trees in Killarney in just three days through his social enterprise, Reforest Nation, which he created during the pandemic to help restore Ireland’s native forests .
Following the devastating fire in Ireland’s oldest national park and Unesco Biosphere Reserve last month, he pledged to immediately focus resources on this area.
Although he cannot plant in the park, much of which must be able to regenerate without human intervention, two local landowners have agreed to plant some 25 native tree species on their lands around the park.
At least 10,000 trees can be planted on this land and Mr. McEvoy is in talks with other landowners about new planting plans in Killarney.
âI studied at Tralee IT for four years and we went to Killarney for field trips so I wanted to focus our efforts there after the fire,â McEvoy said.
âPeople have an emotional attachment to Killarney.
âKillarney National Park has suffered significant forest loss due to recent fires and our Reforest Nation initiative is on a mission to replant as many native trees as possible in the surrounding area,â McEvoy said.
âKillarney is our greatest and latest shining example of the ancient forests that once sprawled unbroken on our island. By planting a diverse mix of at least 25 native species, we hope to help restore local biodiversity and sequester excess of carbon from the atmosphere released by fires. “
“The response to our campaign has been incredible and we have grown 15,000 trees in just 3 days thanks to people across Ireland and the world.”
Mr McEvoy, from Louth, said donations have poured in from Ireland and around the world following social media calls that were amplified by influencers such as model and cook Rozanna Purcell.
âWe’ve had donations from Jamaica, Buffalo New York, Indonesia, places that would surprise you,â McEvoy said.
“And we had a few donations from New South Wales in Australia. Other countries came to their aid after the wildfires there, so when they saw another country hit by a fire, they have reached out to help us. “
Mr McEvoy said Reforest Nation was a positive product of the pandemic.
âI never thought I would do this if we hadn’t been locked up. I had planned to go abroad for conservation projects, but since I was at home, my father suggested that I start planting trees in our area. the.
âPeople really want to help plant trees, but not everyone has the time or can physically do it. Reforest Nation helps people get involved, they can sign up for a monthly plan for just â¬ 6.99 per month or you can adopt a tree for as little as â¬ 1.49 Adopting trees costs less than a Netflix subscription.
âThe goal is to make climate action accessible to everyone by putting nature before profit.
âWe’re showing people how much of their carbon footprint they’re making up by planting X number of trees and we’ve sent people GPS locations to show them where we’ve planted them.
âWe have harvested enough trees to plant â¬ 40,000 so far. We work in partnership with landowners, nature reserves, charities, nature sanctuaries and plant on their land. Because we don’t have to buy the land, we can keep the financing costs down. really low trees for people. “
To donate, go to https://www.reforestationnation.ie/