Funding drive raises enough for 15,000 trees in Killarney park in just three days

Following the devastating fire at Ireland's oldest national park and Unesco biosphere reserve last month, he has committed to immediately focusing resources on that area. 
Funding drive raises enough for 15,000 trees in Killarney park in just three days

A fire burning in Killarney National Park. Picture: Valerie O'Sullivan

A biology student has raised some €15,000 to plant native trees in Ireland after a wildfire ravaged the Killarney National Park, destroying precious habitats.

Gearóid 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 established during the pandemic to help restore Ireland's native woodlands. 

Following the devastating fire at Ireland's oldest national park and Unesco biosphere reserve last month, he has committed to immediately focusing resources on that area. 

Although he cannot plant in the park, much of which must be allowed to regenerate without human interference, two local landowners have agreed to have some 25 species of native trees planted on their land around the park.

At least 10,000 trees can be planted on this land and Mr McEvoy is in talks with other landowners about further planting projects in Killarney.

"I studied in Tralee IT for four years and we went to Killarney for field trips so I wanted to focus our efforts there after the fire," Mr McEvoy said.

"People have an emotional attachment to Killarney. 

"Killarney national park has suffered a significant loss of forest due to the recent fires and our initiative Reforest Nation are on a mission to replant as many native trees as possible in the surrounding area," Mr McEvoy said. 

"Killarney is our largest and last shining example of the ancient forests which once extended unbroken across our island.  Through planting a diverse mix of at least 25 native species we hope to help restore local biodiversity and sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere released by the fires."  


"The response to our campaign has been amazing and we have raised 15,000 trees in just 3 days thanks to people across Ireland and the world."

Gearóid 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 established during the pandemic to help restore Ireland's native woodlands. 
Gearóid 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 established during the pandemic to help restore Ireland's native woodlands. 

Mr McEvoy, originally from Louth, said that donations have flooded in from Ireland and all over the world following appeals on social media which were amplified by influencers like model and cook Rozanna Purcell. 

"We've had donations from Jamaica, Buffalo New York, Indonesia, places that would surprise you," Mr McEvoy said. 

"And we had a few donations from New South Wales in Australia. Other countries went to their aid after the wildfires there so when they saw another country was hit by a fire, they reached out to help us."

Mr McEvoy said that Reforest Nation was one positive product of the pandemic.

"I never would have thought of doing this if we hadn't been in lockdown. I had planned to go abroad on conservation projects, but because I was at home, my dad suggested I start tree planting in our local area. It grew from there. 

"People really want to contribute to tree planting but not everyone has the time or can physically do it. Reforest Nation helps people to get involved, they can sign up for a monthly package for just €6.99 a month or you can adopt one tree for as little as €1.49. Adopting trees costs less than a Netflix subscription. 

“The aim is to make climate action accessible to everyone by putting nature before profit.

"We show people how much of their carbon footprint they offset by planting X number of trees and we sent GPS locations to people to show them where we planted them.

"We've raised enough to plant €40,000 trees so far. We're partnering with landowners, nature reserves, charities, nature sanctuaries and planting on their land. Because we don't have to buy the land we can keep costs of sponsoring trees really low for people."

To donate, go to https://www.reforestationnation.ie/

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