How do we plant during the pandemic?

Tomorrow’s Forest is growing with help from its good friends, always ready to help with planting. Since the beginning of March, many of you have been writing to ask whether and how do we plant during the pandemic – and when to get those rubber boots ready? And where to go to?

We miss a lot the planting sites with tens and hundreds of volunteers, such as we had in the previous years at Dumbravita or Dorna Candrenilor. But until the Covid-19 pandemic will be kept under control in Romania, we decided to pause volunteer planting.

OK, but the planting takes place in open spaces, right?

It’s true, even during the pandemic it’s very much recommended to go out and enjoy everything nature has to offer. And a little physical work together with friends is even healthier.

But.

Our planting sites are located in areas hard to reach from the main roads, and scattered throughout the country. This means hours and hours spent in the car of bus, together with other persons. And this is opposed to the current principle regarding infection prevention.

And our sites are very lively, with breaks spent together for a tea cup and a snack, which creates more and more opportunities for the virus to spread.

There is no planting with social distancing, really 🙂

No matter how much we miss these moments, it is healthier and safer for everyone to postpone events with such a big attendance.

Still, how do we plant during the pandemic?

You must know that the huge majority of the plantings in our country – tens of millions of seedlings, each year – are performed by forest management units and specialized firms. By thousands of workers who carry the weight of it. These are skilled and hard-working people, and their labour must be acknowledged and appreciated, even though they are not volunteers but work for a wage.

In fact, most of Tomorrow’s Forest plantings have been performed with help from such teams.

Firstly, the very difficult sites – situated at high altitudes or on steep slopes. For instance, last year we planted 10 hectares at Borsa, at almost 1400 meters, on a 36° slope.

To get an idea, normal building stairs usually have a 15-20° inclination.

At Borsa we planted on very difficult terrain.

Secondly, all the nursing of the plantations is done by these people – completion, cleanings, even irrigations in some cases and so on. Forest regeneration is the unseen face of forestry, as prof. Ciprian Palaghianu from the University of Suceava beautifully explains here, and our work spans 7 years from the initial planting.

Since last year, we employed these teams for all our planting sites.

But this doesn’t mean we aren’t preparing for our next meeting!

We’re thinking about new activities on our planting sites, to offer even richer experiences – and more educational content. We’re preparing surprises for our volunteers and especially for children (if you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, you can do it here).

We thank our friends at Expodom, who donated a beautiful portable tent, in the coulour of good deeds and the love of nature. Next time, no matter how hard the wind blows or the sun burns, Tomorrow’s Forest volunteers will be able to have a cup of tea sheltered by the metallic tent.

Until next time, take care of you and let’s find ourselves well when the pandemic ends!