Why Bubuieci?

Why Bubuieci

We often get asked as to why do we still bother with Bubuieci despite many difficulties that we meet on the way. Or how did we get stuck choose it, in the first place. Well, we have our reasons, and you can find them below, in form of an analysis:

SWOT Bubuieci

Strengths:

  • Unwanted land – a former landfill. Not too probable anyone will be interested to seize it from us.
  • Very close to Chisinau, a distance of maximum about 5 minutes from the “Kirpichnii zavod” (“Brick factory”) station with a regular transport (121 minibus route; frequency of 5-15 minutes).
  • Some pioneer species have already been growing there before we came (Russian olive; robinia; blackberry; dogrose).
  • 2200 trees and bushes of about 20 species already planted (up to May 2016).
  • Interesting landscape.
  • In some places, very good soil.
  • Some relations with town hall.
  • Good relations with local lyceum and professional school (done a series of informal environmental sessions with the students before the first planting event).

Weaknesses:

  • Unreliable local public administration (we have to rely mostly on ourselves, and it is for the best, because some sorts of help can be counterproductive).
  • Underground trash makes it difficult to dig; possibly not good for some trees.
  • The strong grass competes with trees and bushes for water and, in case of smaller saplings, for sun.
  • Difficult to water trees – just a few private wells up the hill, and the lake is far under the hill.
  • Uneven small relief (holes, etc); landslides.
  • In some places, clayey, poor soil (very prone to drying out, but still needs to be afforested).

Opportunities:

  • A sandbox + a wonderful learning experience. If something could grow in Bubuieci, in those conditions… a pilot project for extending the idea to other parts of Moldova.
  • A source of statistics for ourselves and for applying with new projects.
  • Excursions with learning and working opportunities.
  • Possibly, a spring.
  • The grass can quickly turn into mulch.
  • The local public administration can bring autumn leaves (also mulch).
  • Bringing more species of trees that we find in places where they are unwanted (cemeteries, etc.) or grow from seeds.
  • Sowing seeds of elm, maple, dogrose – and observing what comes of that.

Threats:

  • Sheep, when they leave their main pasture (end of autumn, winter, beginning of spring).
  • “Maugli” phenomenon – vandalism. “Maugli” = maul, mangle, maim, mutilate… just for the spite of doing that.
  • Volunteers doing wrong things out of ignorance, lack of experience or lack of awareness (just doing something).
  • Possibly, drought.

And, of course, we don’t leave Bubuieci because it’s the place where our trees grow, and there are so many things we can and have to do for them and with them…

“To do” list, plans for the rest of 2016 and further:

  • Find all the trees among the grass and create a statistics of taking root.
  • Cut the grass and use it as mulch for enriching the soil and helping it retain moisture; possibly bringing more organic waste and autumn leaves.
  • Monitoring.
  • Organize excursions, especially for those who participated in the first planting event. Things to show: threats to the park and how we deal with them; landslides and how we deal with them; willows at the lake; bad-smelling rivulet; and, of course, the park itself (trees, mulch, etc.).
  • Sow seeds of elm, maple, dogrose etc.
  • Grow our own planting material.
  • Clean new territory for planting.
  • Ferry saplings from the former botany garden located on the other side of Bubuieci; research other useful places-sources of unwanted young trees and bushes.
  • Organize more planting events with “old” and “new” volunteers.
  • Create a green “road” towards the Bubuieci forest (not quite easy, but real) for biodiversity benefits.

If you think at least some of the listed above are relevant, you’re welcome to join!

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