In October 2021 our school proudly collaborated with a local community volunteer group Stepping Stones Forest, and a local manufacturing company Henkel, to plant a forest on our school grounds.
As per the Stepping Stones Forest website 'Stepping Stone Forests are small dense biodiverse woodlands which are planted... using native Irish trees and shrubs. The forest creations are inspired by the work of world renowned botanist Professor Akira Miyawaki and built upon by our founder local Tallaght man, John Kiberd.
Henkel kindly provided the funding for the build, including all preparation materials and the native Irish trees.
Henkel and Stepping Stones Forest Volunteers, along with all the school students and staff, prepared the school ground for planting.
In March 2022, the ground was prepared and ready for tree planting. Henkel and Stepping Stones Forest Volunteers, along with all the pupils and staff in the school began planting native Irish trees onto the site. Pupils from Killinarden Community School and some parents of pupils in our school also gave their time on the day to help with planting, digging and sweeping up.
John Kiberd from Stepping Stones Forest had a drawing plan of the forest plan which included space for an enclosed outdoor classroom. The children and staff were ecstatic to hear this. Who wouldn't want their very own outdoor classroom!
While the planting was taking place RTÉ children's news programme News2day, visited our school and recorded a segment for their children's news programme. Children from the school were interviewed about the process of preparing the ground for planting and how excited they felt about having their very own native Irish forest with an outdoor classroom.
Éanna Ní Lamhna also visited our school that day. Éanna is an Irish biologist, environmental consultant, radio and television presenter, author and educator. She has written many books on wildlife in Ireland and around the world. She gave a heartfelt speech to everyone about the importance of wildlife and biodiversity and the huge benefits of planting a native Irish forest, especially on our school grounds.
The South County Dublin Mayor Peter Kavanagh and local TD's Charlie O'Connor and Colin Brophy also attended and helped with the planting process. They were delighted to see how the community were pulling together to create this beautiful space for our school.