“Mountain Forest Project”: Five days of vacation for the forest under climate stress

Press release of 01.08.2022

No pool or beach bar, preferring to carry branches, lift trunks, build dams. Training in the forest while on vacation or on vacation is the order of the day for 17 volunteers of the mountain forest project of the forest office in Hachenburg. According to a press release, the project week in the Westerwald took place for the second time.

(Photo: Private)

Hashenburg. The project works with the financial support of the Westerwald Bank and the technical design of the forest office Hachenburg/FBZ. Again this year, the focus is on the water: in an open area once overgrown with spruce trees, participants clear the remains of old spruce crowns from a stream bed to make way for the typical vegetation of the emerging stream. It must be able to push abundantly and do its part so that the small body of water can develop in the best possible way.

The forest that will shade the stream in the future is already in the starting blocks: In addition to selective plantations, in particular of oaks, maples and lime trees, trees grow everywhere on the territory without human intervention, in particular birches and mountain ash. “Local alder wood dams are used to ensure that water does not roll down the slope towards Alpenrod in the Hirzbach during a flash flood during heavy rains. They slow down water and can break water peaks,” says Urla Ewender, project manager of the mountain forest project.

Water also flows in the Nauberg, and not too rarely. Natural canals have formed here over the years, which lead water to the town of Nister. Here too, considerable quantities can be transported during heavy rains. In order to prevent flooding and keep water in the forest, volunteers also build dams here. This project will be continued since last year.

In addition, people who traveled to the Westerwald by public transport from Flensburg to Stuttgart maintain the tree of the year park in Streithausen. All trees of the year have been planted and marked there since 1989. You can also find the names of all children who were born in Streithausen in the relevant years. Elsewhere, old fruit trees are tended to continue to be preserved. This is done under the professional guidance of an experienced pruning trainer. After all, the trees should not suffer any damage.

With the sweat of their brow, participants, from students to retirees, help nature to fulfill its ecosystem services. “It’s great that so many volunteers from all over Germany are committed to our forest,” says Markus Kurtseifer, Member of the Board of Directors of Westerwald Bank eG. Maybe it’s an impulse that a few people from the Westerwald will be there next year.
The forest is an essential part of flood prevention and not only ensures the excellent quality of our drinking water in the Westerwald. Volunteers learn a lot about the ecosystem and are always ambassadors for social engagement and the importance of healthy landscapes after the project week. One or the other can provide the house with an impetus for a future resource-saving way of life.

The project week is a three-way cooperation: Bergwaldprojekt vzw carries out the work, the forest office Hachenburg/Forstliches Bildungszentrum RLP collects the projects and surfaces, and Westerwald Bank eG bears the vast majority of the costs and undertakes thus to local forests and supports them Functions for a sustainable Westerwald region.

The objectives of the mountain forest project are the protection and preservation of the forest to secure its ecosystem services. In addition to the supply of drinking water, wood and clean air, this also includes biodiversity, the CO2 storage function and flood prevention.

The mountain forest project constantly draws attention to the importance and endangerment of our natural basis of life and sensitizes all social groups to the compatible use of natural resources.
More information at www.bergwaldprojekt.de and www.fbz.wald.rlp.de under “News”.

(Joint press release of Westerwald Bank eG, Bergwaldprojekt eV and Hachenburg Forestry Office/Forestliches Bildungszentrum)


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