Over 1,000 Volunteers Plant 12,000 Trees in Split Surroundings Affected by 2017 Fire

By 28 October 2019

October 28, 2019 - The Boranka campaign held this year’s third afforestation action, which took place last weekend in the Split area, and particularly Sitno Gornje, below the Star Village of Mosor, which was devastated in the catastrophic 2017 fire. Dalmacija Danas reports that the weekend saw a record turnout with about 1,200 volunteers participating in the Mosor action.

With the help of experts from Croatian Forests who educated volunteers and assisted them, the Boranka volunteers planted some 12,000 new trees over the weekend by seedlings, seeds, and acorns. Only the native conifer and deciduous species were planted.

The organizers of the action were the Scout Association of Croatia, the Split Scout Corps, Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, the Civil Protection Directorate and the City of Split.

More than 300 scouts from Split, Omiš, Trogir, Dugi Rat, Velika Gorica, Samobor, Koprivnica, Stupnik, Okić, Križevci, and Bjelovar participated in the action. The Split Scouts were in charge of organizing and welcoming all volunteers over the weekend.

“A more beautiful and healthier environment is our common legacy for future generations. The Split Scouts will continue to be available to their community, and to all who have participated in this great undertaking so far, we thank you! We are embracing nature with more and more hands,” said Edi Peric, president of the Split Scouts.

In addition to the scouts, members of the Croatian Navy, students of the Split elementary schools of . Brda and Blatina-Skrape, students of the Archdiocesan Classical High School in Split, students of the Faculty of Kinesiology in Split, students of the Erasmus International Exchange Program, members of the Judo Clubs "Val" and "Student”,  members of the “Vuk Samotnjak” motorcycle club and numerous other volunteers from Split and the surrounding area joined.

Some 30 Raiffeisen Bank employees, the main sponsor of the Boranka campaign, and volunteers from Atos, also participated in the action.

As the Preporod Union is an exclusive partner in the Boranka campaign this year, more than 300 teachers and union trustees from across Croatia joined the action on Saturday, diligently planting new trees on the slopes of Mosor.

“An essential dimension of this action is that all our teachers are also classmates. I am sure that most of them will find ways to get their students interested in Boranka, and then not only Mosor but the whole of Croatia will be greener,” said Željko Stipić, president of the Preporod Union.

The Boranka campaign has been formally supported by the Embassy of Canada from the beginning, and the Canadian Ambassador, Mr. Alan Bowman, joined the action on Saturday with his family. Ambassador Bowman also brought along representatives of the Canadian company Viking Air, who make the world-famous Canadair firefighting planes, to the afforestation action. The Viking Air Company was represented by the director of the company, Mr. Ben Carson and Mr. Mark Dodd.

“The issue of environmental protection and conserving forests and nature is one of Canada's top priorities. We are extremely pleased to be able to participate in and support such a laudable action in Croatia. We are also pleased that Canadian technology, in the form of Canadair firefighting aircraft, helps to protect against fires,” said Canadian Ambassador Alan Bowman, who planted dozens of seedlings on Mosor with his family and Viking Air representatives.

Support for the action was provided by staff and experts from the Croatian Forests and HGSS, volunteers from the City Red Cross Society of Split, members of the Civil Protection Directorate and firefighters from JVP Split and DVD Dugi Rat, and Split-Dalmatia County.

As in the previous year, primary school education is also held within the Boranka project. Scout experts, Croatian Forests, Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, Civil Protection Directorate and firefighters educate elementary school students on the basics of afforestation, protecting the forest and nature, fire prevention and the impact of climate change. After completing their education, the schoolchildren also take part in afforestation actions so that they can apply their first-hand knowledge and help in the regeneration of burned areas.

The Boranka action continues in the Kozino settlement near Zadar on November 9 and 10.

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