Wiesentheide schoolchildren plant their future forest

They christened it "kliv. They didn't have to think about the name for long, katrin, luisa isabell and vanessa agreed right away. The first letter of each – that's short and sweet. Just like kliv itself. It is now in front of them. And it stands like a one. The friends have literally broken ground for the little tree, giving it a home.

The eighth-graders and almost 900 schoolchildren from the country school home and the nikolaus-fey elementary school in wiesentheid have spent the last two days swapping their satchels for spades to plant their very own future forest in the community forest of wiesentheid above the reupelsdorfer weg. Teachers and parts of the parents' council also lent a hand. In groups of 50 students each, they planted 20 different tree species on an area of half an acre: among others, wild strawberries, wild service trees, bird cherries, hornbeams, oaks and maples – under the protective umbrella of 60-year-old pine trees. But they will be cut down sooner or later.

Taking responsibility
Because the forest stand is not only to be rejuvenated, but also converted in the long term, from a pure pine stand to a stable mixed deciduous forest – not least in order to be prepared for a changing climate: "i have to think now about what will be in a hundred years' time. It is important to plant different and warm-loving tree species to achieve a coarser risk distribution", explains tobias hahner. The forester, who in addition to wiesentheid is also responsible for abtswind, prichsenstadt and rudenhausen, refers to climate risk maps developed by the state institute for forestry and forestry. Various scenarios predict a temperature rise of one to five degrees by 2100. "This naturally has an impact on the trees", says hahner. He also showed the schoolchildren that, with sustainable and near-natural forestry, both wood utilization and forest protection can stand side by side on an equal footing and be compatible on a flat surface.

The planting campaign is not only about ecological balance, but above all about bringing the forest back into the lives of young people, making them aware of nature instead of alienating them from it. Hahner gave presentations to all classes at the two schools prior to the planting in order to prepare the students for the practical side of the project: "with this campaign, we are offering them a connection to nature, he says.
Dagmar herzing, a teacher at the country school, has a similar view: "we're not saving the world, but the students are learning to take responsibility for their own future." She was the one who approached hahner and came up with the idea for the whole action. Originally, 100 trees were planned, but the project quickly took on a life of its own. The municipality of wiesentheid immediately agreed to join in – and the number quickly reached 1,000. "It's important that children learn what sustainability means.", finds mayor werner knaier. He was enthusiastic about the community action of the schools and did not want to miss the opportunity to plant three trees himself.

Several actions follow
Four hectares of forest are rebuilt every year in the wiesentheide community forest. Last year, hahner and his colleagues planted about 30 plants.000 new plants. "The wiesentheid forest is doing well", thinks hahner. However, he also has to contend with changed conditions: extreme weather events, dry and hot summers, the annual precipitation falling increasingly in winter.

The planting of the new trees was just the start of further activities in the year of sustainability. The country school home in wiesentheid has taken over the sponsorship for the flat area. A hiking trail, a wetland, a forest vernissage, insect hotels and nesting boxes are also being considered. The plants were sponsored by the steinbach forestry nursery at an average price of 1.50 euros per plant. The savings bank and the raiffeisenbank also contributed 1000 euros each. The company "laxa grieved about the shoulders placed in the forest in front of the planted flat. Katrin, luisa, isabell and vanessa will come here more often now. With each groundbreaking, they may not have saved the world, but at least made it a little better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *