MOME students planted forests over 5 hectares in just one day

Date: 2023.12.01
This November, as part of a three-day event, MOME students, teachers, and employees together planted a total of 20,000 saplings – the first MOME forest – in Garabonc in Zala county with help from forest engineers and environmental protection professionals of the Balaton Uplands National Park. Braving strong wind and rain, the University community was working over an area of 5 hectares (equivalent to 10 football pitches), planting 20,000 trees in record time.

The action forms part of a larger project named MOME Zero, launched in 2022 to help neutralise MOME’s harmful emissions. As such, the University works with the Balaton Uplands, Danube-Drava and Duna-Ipoly National Parks to plant new forests that will contribute to reducing MOME’s carbon footprint in the future.  

The first phase of the initiative involved the forest planting in November, which was also aimed at giving the 200 participating students a better understanding of sustainability, providing a live ecological laboratory for university research, and strengthening the bonds between University citizens through community building activities.

The night prior the action, climate optimist, author of the The Climate Optimist Handbook and TED speaker Anne Therese Gennari gave a talk to the participants on the site. Right before the planting, students were given a short theoretical and practical briefing about the planting of saplings with a tree planting spade, then, divided into pairs, proceeded to plant 20,000 alder saplings, each roughly 50 centimetres tall, using 99 spades, in the prepared soil over an area fenced off to provide protection from wild animals.  

It was a measure of their determination that they persevered throughout the day despite the pouring rain and fierce wind. As the staff of the Balaton Uplands National Park put it, “Planting 5 hectares of forest in one day is a feat unprecedented in Hungary”. According to the organisers, planting the first MOME forest together was a fantastic experience, and they are thankful to everyone who was there.

After the surging of the saplings in the spring, the next chapter will include continued care and management of the planted area, and the planting of the next 5 hectares of forest.  

Students of the Kisalföldi Center of Agricultural Vocational Training, Gyula Roth High School of Forestry were also involved in the planting. 

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