Boranka is Back: Europe's Largest Volunteer Afforestation Action Tackles 2017 Split Fire Area

By 20 September 2021
Boranka is Back: Europe's Largest Volunteer Afforestation Action Tackles 2017 Split Fire Area
Miroslav Lelas / PIXSELL

September 20, 2021 - Boranka is back! Europe's largest afforestation action launched its fourth season last weekend by tackling the 2017 Split fire area, particularly Korešnica.

The largest European volunteer afforestation action, the popular 'Boranka,' started its fourth season on Saturday in Split's Korešnica area, reports Slobodna Dalmacija.

The Croatian Scout Association, Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, and the Split Scout Association, as the main organizers of the 'Boranka' campaign, kicked off new afforestation actions in Dalmatia. Hundreds of volunteers afforested the area that was destroyed in the 2017 fire.

The scouts of the Split Scout Association and the Spinut Seafarers' Scout Detachment, along with other citizens, were joined in the first afforestation this year by students and teachers of the School of Crafts and the School of Science in Split.

The organizers provided all volunteers with free transportation to and from the afforestation site, seedlings, protective equipment, planting tools, drinking water, sandwiches, and fruit.


Afforestation actions will be held every Saturday for the next five Saturdays, ending on Saturday, October 16, in the settlements of Donje Sitno and Žrnovnica.

In the following actions, mountaineers, athletes, HGSS volunteers, students and professors of Split faculties, members of the Croatian Navy, employees of sponsoring companies, and many other citizens will attend the afforestation actions.

The scouts, who initiated the 'Boranka' campaign in 2018 and gathered more than 7,300 volunteers, announced the continuation of 'Boranka' through educational actions through schools and other nature protection activities that will follow soon.

"We are sincerely grateful to every volunteer who joined us and helped return the forests after the Dalmatian fires. With the help of all of them, 'Boranka' is today the largest afforestation action for fires in the whole of Europe and one of the most recognized examples of good practice in caring for nature.

In addition to afforestation actions, our volunteers will irrigate the planted seedlings organized from next week to survive the dry period and heat, which in Split usually lasts until the end of October.

We started watering the seedlings with the help of the European Solidarity Forces and Croatian Forests last year. It turned out that the probability of seedling survival rises to as much as 90 percent, which is phenomenal.

In addition, we will soon start educational workshops in schools to teach children and young people about the importance of forests and the effects of climate change," announced Dan Špicer, business director of the Croatian Scout Association and the primary campaign coordinator of Boranka.

Croatian Forests, which provide seedlings and other planting material, greatly help scouts and other volunteers, and their experts educate volunteers and supervise the planting itself. HGSS volunteers are the primary logistical support in the afforestation.

The Directorate of Civil Protection provides tools and equipment for planting and other logistics. In addition, the City of Split provides free transportation by bus, and Red Cross volunteers are available in case of an accident.

Boranka has been supported for years by the European Parliament, the Ministry of Agriculture, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy of Canada, UHDDR, the IMAGO agency, and the German-Croatian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

This year, the main sponsors, symbolically called the Main WINNERS, are Raiffeisen Bank, Radenska Adriatic, and Henkel.

A new afforestation action will take place next Saturday, September 25, in the Split settlement of Donje Sitno, above the Church of the Holy Trinity.

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