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Following an initial idea taken from Dumfries Civic Pride a number of years ago, pupils from eight local schools along with groups such as the Friends of Dock Park, The People’s Project and Incredible Edible have all been out planting trees at Dock Park in Dumfries.
The basic idea for this project was to encourage young people to take care of their local community and environment. The project was primarily funded by The People’s Project, Dumfries Civic Pride and Dumfries and Galloway Council along with contributions from the above groups and all the schools involved.
Anne Simpson of the People’s Project and Town Centre Ambassador Lorraine Wilson implemented this fantastic project, by inviting the schools and groups involved to plant a tree. Fortunately, the tree plantings was organised for the second last week of February and as such the majority of the school children missed the blizzards which could have forced a cancellation.
Mark Jardine of The People’s Project said: “This amazing project will last for generations to come, giving lasting pleasure to countless people, and it will instil a pride in the individuals who can say to their children and grandchildren “I planted this tree.”
The idea was to plant a variety of species of trees to replace dead trees or fill empty spaces around the Dock Park. At the original regeneration of the Dock Park there were financial constraints, so the number of trees species which could be planted was limited.
Schools who signed up for the project included: Holywood, St Ninian’s, Lochside, Troqueer, St Michaels, Georgetown, Noblehill, Cargenbridge, and Locharbriggs Primary Schools along with 3 secondary schools, St Joseph’s College, Maxwelltown High School and Dumfries Academy. Three of these schools, St Ninian’s, Lochside and Max High, wanted their trees to be a symbol for them as their individual schools are due to close and subsequently be joined together into one super school.
Each tree has a brass plaque attached with the Latin and common names of the tree, the name of the sponsor and the date when the tree was planted. Brian McAviney, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Head Gardiner and his team provided a talk to the pupils about their individual tree as they were planting them.
Councillors John Martin and John Campbell both came down to support the event: Cllr John Martin, Vice Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee said: “My grateful thanks are extended to all schools and groups who took part, but particularly to Dumfries Civic Pride who initially had this fantastic idea.
Not only does this project provide a boost to the area, enhancing the refurbishment works already carried out, but it also educational to local pupils who must have enjoyed the participation and will undoubtedly take a pride in their very own trees, providing life-long memories for the people who planted them and their families.”