Bubuieci landfill revitalization

Bubuieci landfill revitalization is a project that was born in autumn 2015, when the emerging Seed It Forward team decided to put its ideas into real actions.

In September-October 2015, Seed It Forward entered into collaboration with the local public authority of the commune Bubuieci, Chisinau municipality, and identified a degraded piece of land that we would like to work on for the next years – a former landfill. You can read more about it here: Getting to know the land – the problem.

First field visit to Bubuieci

Then, the intense preparation started – visiting the land with a forestry engineer, working with local community, promoting, meeting with volunteers, collecting funds, buying tools and seedlings, preparing the field, etc., etc.

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(you can read more about it here: Visiting the lands with a forestry engineer – Solution)

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Ion cu coasa(you can read more about it here: Field work, or what can you do in a weed jungle)

Planting good deeds in Bubuieci

The first event – “Planting good deeds in Moldova” – took place on November 14, 2015, simultaneously with planting actions by initiative “Plantăm Fapte Bune în România” all around Romania.

The action was attended by about 400 volunteers from different localities, educational institutions, profit and nonprofit, national and international organizations.

Together, we planted one quarter of the planned 10,000 trees on an area of 3.4 hectares: poplars, oak, maple, hazelnuts and Turkish hazelnuts, linden, bird cherry trees, robinias, and various bushes – all in all, around 12 species.

You can read more about it here: Planting good deeds in Bubuieci, and here: Great thanks to everyone, we did it!

An important point: after that, we decided to not organize any more huge events – it looks impressive on the photos, but it is much more pleasant and effective to work in smaller groups (maximum 100 people). This way, you can manage to meet everyone, and it really feels like inviting friends (present and future)) to do something together.

But this – November 14, 2015 – was first real Seed It Forward action, and essential learning experience for all the events we have organized since then. Moreover, over 2000 trees planted on that day do grow!

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Nevertheless, planting a tree (or many trees) is just the first step. The key point is, what do you do afterwards?

What Seed It Forward does is care. As November progressed into December, more Bubuieci visits followed – replanting wrongly planted trees, mulching, monitoring, even adding more species – such as pines.

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winter-2015-2016-in-bubuieci-39winter-2015-2016-in-bubuieci-12winter-2015-2016-in-bubuieci-53You can read more about it here: First winter in Bubuieci.

In March and April, we brought here a dozen of wild almonds, and planted some willow saplings on the banks of the lake. Moreover, we started to create a live fence of elms, maples, robinias, dog rose and blackberry – in order to mark the borders and create some sort of protection against grazing animals.

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At the end of April – beginning of May, our park came alive!

And not only our trees and bushes, but grass and weeds as well, so it was lots of cutting and mulching at the end of spring and in the beginning of summer.

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You can read more about it here: Bubuieci park comes alive! and First June in Bubuieci.

In August 2016, the situation in Bubuieci was both a bit upsetting and motivating – on the one hand, many trees sported dry leaves, and some of them looked as if they are dead. On the other hand, there were also many seedlings looking as if the summer heat did not concern them at all – cheerful and green in the midst of dry grasses.

More about it here: Bubuieci in August.

In September 2016, we could conclude with relief: our trees survived their first year. Moreover, somehow there were now more saplings alive than in August (more about it here).

And they were already pretty visible in the dry grass, so on September 17, 2016, we organized First Working Picnic at Bubuieci – for the first time, trusting people from outside of our team not to step on/otherwise damage the trees.

In October, we started getting ready for the new planting season, and also launched a new project – Open Tree Nursery, also in Bubuieci.

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On November 19, 2016, Bubuieci hosted the second edition of Planting Good Deeds in Moldova – this time, it was much smaller, “only” 54 people. Half of them were local, another half – coming from different parts of Moldova. Altogether, they planted about 570 seedlings – a live hedge along the lower part of the park (robinia and dog rose), and inside of its territory (walnuts and ash). Some of the volunteers worked in the tree nursery (so more oaks and other trees and shrubs coming from there). Moreover, this was also the first ever appearance of a mobile & sectional toilet in Bubuieci, and the first real tours, which allowed our guests to get acquainted with the process of creating a park, and to become aware of their contribution to its prosperity.

It was culmination of the thirteen months of work – and a definite success (unanimous opinion).

In December 2016, we finally started the process of direct seeding of oaks, chestnuts, plums, apricots and ash – thus we are going to afforest the less-favorable parts of the territory (the slope, and also the part with the “one hundred hills of trash”.

We planted trees and seeds until it was too cold to do it, and even then, the we continued the monitoring (and also bringing “home-made” vegetable rests to enrich the soil). More about it here: What are our trees doing in winter?

Now, we are looking for the new spring – planting the saplings that remained from autumn 2016, direct-seeding of the ~1,000 of oak acorns that we have (other seeds, too), continuing work on the tree nursery… and, of course, observing as the ~3,000 trees and shrubs planted in 2015-2016 come alive!

Photo credit: Gabriela Isac, Sasha Nikitin, Alex Stacanov

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