Trees for Schmöckwitz
Gerd Hollmann from Oldenburg has just rowed five trees. As a thank you, he receives a wooden bottle opener. The next visitor is already taking up her position on the rowing machine, arms tucked in, upper body leaning forward. It's 9:45 a.m. and the line at the booth of the umbrella organization of the German Forestry Council (DFWR) is getting longer and longer.
"The level of commitment is higher than ever," says Franziska Bachmann, press and public relations officer at the German Forestry Council. 4,152 trees show on the digital display at 10:11 a.m. Thursday. For comparison: at the last Green Week, in January 2020, a total of 4,361 trees were errudert. This number was already surpassed in the early afternoon.
Exercising muscles and doing good
With his head red, Michel from Herzberg rowed tree number 4,471 at 12:57 p.m. The 15-year-old had managed a total of 27 trees. If he hadn't been asked to make room for other waiting people, he probably would have broken more records. "It's a cool project," he said, a little out of breath. "You get to exercise your muscles a little bit and do something for nature in the process."
Renaturalizing the industrial sector
The participatory event has been around since 2016, when fairgoers pedaled a forest tandem and managed 5,702 trees. The aim now is to surpass this number in the remaining three days of the fair. The trees are usually planted on March 21, International Forest Day. In 2016, the first 200 saplings went into the ground on land owned by the Potsdam Forestry Office; so far, as this year, most have gone to Berlin-Schmöckwitz on the site of a former tire factory. The planting campaign organized by the Berlin Forestry Department has been making an important contribution to the renaturation of the industrial sector there for years.
Since Hall 27 opens as early as 9:30 a.m., half an hour before official admission to the International Green Week, trade fair visitors can do their early morning exercise here and do some good in the process before feasting their eyes on the other halls.