Celebration marking the end of the planting season a great success

Staff
6 Min Read

Stichting de Nationale Boomfeestdag celebrated the closure of the planting season on Wednesday 20 March 2024. In Zundert, a festive event was organized, which turned out to be a resounding success. A total of 154 children planted over 4,000 trees and plants at the Business Centre Treeport location, both in the seed orchard and in the area surrounding windmill E4.

Enthusiastic children
In Zundert and its surroundings, preparations had been underway for months leading up to this day, especially at the St. Antoniusschool, St. Annaschool, Zonnebloem, and St. Bavoschool. All schools were invited to create a creative piece of work about the Tree of the Future, but these four schools also participated in the planting event on the 20th. Prior to the planting, they watched the film ‘Onder het Maaiveld Junior’; in class and learned all about growth and bloom during a special guest lesson.

Inspiring speakers
The children worked hard, but there was also plenty of room for inspiration and connection. Corné de Vooght, representing Rabobank De Zuidelijke Baronie, emphasized the importance of involving youth in creating a green future. He underscored his words by presenting a check worth 10,000 euros to Marc Lodders, director of the European Plant Support Foundation. This amount comes from the Rabo Cooperative Fund, providing ample financial support for this important societal initiative. Thanks to Corné's enthusiasm after the National Celebration in 2022, the organizing committee was established to create an annual celebration.

Jolanda van Hasselt of the Coöperatieve Vereniging Treeport also spoke. She emphasized that the trees and plants planted in the seed orchard are native and why that is important. She paid special attention to the lime trees planted in the seed orchard. To the amusement of the children, she briefly explained the importance of fertilization, worms, and worm castings. She gave a technically substantive presentation that the children will certainly remember.

During this warm spring day, Alder(wo)men Ellie Kools and Ralph Bogers from the municipality of Zundert were also present. Alderman Bogers told the children about the importance of trees for a green and healthy future and mentioned the presence of members of the childrens council. He emphasised that Zundert is a tree cultivation municipality and that the public administration logically supports the sector. Alderwoman Ellie Kools actually had other obligations, but she found it so enjoyable and important to be present that she specially rearranged her work schedule for it.

Award ceremony
Of course, there was also an award ceremony for the best-designed Tree of the Future contest. Chairman of the day David Bömer from the GrootGroenPlus trade fair, who hosted all the activities on this festive day and also imparted new information to the children himself and presented five prizes, including one for the energy tree designed by Mace de Roo from the St. Bavoschool. The winners received a gift voucher from the local garden centre so they could continue exploring on their own.

Additional planting activities
In addition to planting in the seed orchard and the area around windmill E4, there were two additional planting activities. The company Trewatin, represented by Emiel Molenschot, contributed to further greening and agrobiodiversity of the BCT Treehub (the cold store). This was done, among other things, by planting various climbing plants and installing insect hotels and bat boxes. A total of 5,420 trees were also planted along the watercourse. The project groups from the Breakthrough Agroforestry Buffer Strips test site took care of this. René Rijken from Waterschap Brabantse Delta (water board), one of the partners of the project groups, emphasised the importance of test plots for natural (water) purification and biodiversity, as well as the potential of agroforestry as a sustainable agricultural practice.

Successful day
It can be concluded that it was an inspiring, successful day that contributed to raising awareness about the importance of greenery and knowledge sharing, both among adults and the next generations. Of course, the event is mainly focused on the children, to create a moment they will remember. The shovels and T-shirts were taken home. All 4,000 plants were planted faster than expected. As Jolanda put it, "These are truly the tree growers of the future." The organising committee will quickly proceed with an evaluation, and then decide whether the annual celebration will be repeated in November 2024 or in March 2025, as usual.

For more information
GrootGroenPlus
[email protected]
www.grootgroenplus.nl

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