Limerick festival plants trees to offset carbon footprint

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Protecting the elements: Alan Hogan, Jennifer Allen, Maeve McGrath and Pius McGrath of Elemental, planting trees in Corbally
A CULTURAL festival that mined the elements of nature to showcase the positive side of the city last year has gone back to its roots - literally - by planting trees to offset the carbon footprint it created.

A CULTURAL festival that mined the elements of nature to showcase the positive side of the city last year has gone back to its roots - literally - by planting trees to offset the carbon footprint it created.

Last September saw the inaugural Elemental Arts & Culture Festival take place, a vibrant conglomeration of events that took place in venues and on streets around the city.

The brainchild of a team of people based in Limerick and involved in the arts who were keen to “showcase the positive side of the city”, the Elemental festival was a success and returns again this September.

Last year organisers - who took their theme from the elements and encouraged performers to use fire, air and water in their acts - took a “tree pledge” to offset their carbon footprint.

As a result the Elemental team, with Limerick Tidy Towns and the parks department of City Council, recently planted 30 trees at the ‘urban forest’ in Corbally.

“We took a tree pledge at last year’s inaugural Elemental Festival to plant native broadleaf trees in the Limerick area to offset the carbon footprint of the festival. Elemental is all about enhancing what Limerick is and can become in the future,” explained Alan Hogan, co-founder of the festival.

“The trees are intended to provide an ongoing legacy and we intend to make the Tree Pledge a regular part of the festival.”

The trees - including hornbeams, hazel and birch - were sourced from Dromcollogher Organic College, which was of particular pleasure to Jennifer Allen, another founder of Elemental.

“Having studied at Dromcollogher Organic College some years ago, it’s a pleasure to have Jim McNamara involved in the planting. It also brings a little bit of the county into the city, which is a very positive step,” she explained.

Ms Allen explained last year that the festival, which takes place this September 13-15, was intended to “get Limerick moving with one big festival that does everything - you can have a cultural aspect, an artistic aspect, rather than just one specific genre”.