Planting willows along the river Raut

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When you are in the spring mood – planting, planting, more planting! – you feel weird when the temperatures start to climb and leaves to appear. On the one hand, it means a long-awaited respite from hard work, but on the other, the next chance to contribute to greening our country will be only in autumn, months away…
So, when we found out about the miraculous qualities of willow – for instance, it has a high potential of surviving and propagating – we decided that if it can still be planted, we just have to try.

First, we planted some saplings by the Bubuieci lake and along the river Chiuluc in Singerei, in order to try it out and to create A practical and detailed photoguide to planting willows, as we understand it. And then, the more public activities began – a two-day planting event along river Raut, where it flows by villages Ohrincea and Coacaza Roshie, where our good friend and practically a member of the team, Sasha Nikitin, periodically resides.

This event was also held in the framework of FLEX and activEco alumni project, “Sustainable Development – Big Vision, Small Steps”.

The first day, April 8th, was dedicated to preparation – first visit to the spot, search for the sources of planting material and testing the process on the selected portion of the river.
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The planting itself – our small team and some interested residents of Coacaza Roshie.
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The results of the day.
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After planting everything that we brought, we explored local sources of planting material – a willow grove a bit down the river.
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So, on the next day, April 9th, we tackled it with a small, but great group of volunteers.
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Couldn’t do without some heroics…
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Which branches are good and which ones are not.
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Our trophies.
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The future trees of yesterday.
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Some tea, rest and planning.
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And enjoying our surroundings.
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And here we go!
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One team is cutting off the extra branches and leaves, another two are off to plant the resultant saplings.
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And the fourth team is following in their steps and painting saplings with protective paint – we hope it increases willows’ chances of survival.
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And maybe it is already helping?
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But to be even more certain, we had a special goal in mind since yesterday – the island.
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Sasha volunteered to be the one who crosses the river and does it.
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Last saplings, last touches…
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One of our volunteers, Israel, met her students here – she teaches them in the neighbouring village, Cruglic.
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All together.
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And last, but not least – the well-deserved picnic with traditional teas and home-made food that we cooked the night before and the morning before starting off to the river. It seems, our team is becoming more and more proficient – if the last hours before the events are filled not with running around with tools and trees (though they are still doing OK), but with fragrant and juicy placintas.
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Overall, in two days we planted 116 willows – not too many, but also not too few, and they are already something to look at. It seems there is a better thing that planting trees – planting trees along a river. Let’s see what will they look like in summer!
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Photo credits to Sasha Nikitin and Gabi.

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