“A tree in our hearts”
There is nothing more revolutionary than planting a tree, it is such a strong gesture that it changes history.
The heart of Sicily, land of wheat, vines, olive and almond trees; a land of sulphur, limestone and salt. A land warmed by the ever-present sun, a fertile land that is sadly turning into desert. A land that has forgotten its native trees which are no longer part of the landscape: monoculture farming, widespread uncontrolled grazing, forest fires and incorrect forestry practices have lead to soil exhaustion and wiped the trees out. They have also disappeared from people’s memories and from their culture.
In 2008 about a dozen young people decided to pay a tribute to their land by starting to plant trees such as downy and holm oaks, ash, Mediterranean hackberry and many other varieties. Within 6 years they had planted 11,400 trees in the regions of Caltanisetta, Palermo and Catania. Most often on private land, but sometimes on common land as in the case of the town of San Cataldo (CL), which has foreseen the forestation of a 30 hectare public park.
There are very few protected areas where the tree species can be propagated and the volunteers objective is to plant them here and there – scattered patchily in inland Sicily. Undoubtedly the difference between 0 and 1 is immense: the cultivation begins with trees that then grow up to be the “mothers” of the other trees in an area where there were none before and so the propagation begins.
How and why
Our goal is ambitious: to bring back the original woods to the heart of Sicily and its people. We organize seed collections, transplanting of trees, educational initiatives for schools, conferences with the institutions and cultural events so that the message of “A tree in our hearts” is loud and clear.
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A harmonious balance between commitment and leisure