European Wilderness Society

Everyone should plant at least one tree in their life!

The cooperation between the European Wilderness Society and active youngsters in Europe is constantly increasing. Continuing on this path, we recently met with Bohdan Savytskiy, a senior student from Ukraine. Particularly, Bohdan helped us with the conduction of the Respect Nature activity of UzhGreenFest.

Green spaces in urban areas

There is no doubt that green spaces are essential to support healthy living in urban areas. Moreover, many studies confirm an improvement in physical and mental health of people living in greener cities. Currently, an average of 18,2 square meters of green space per person is publicly available in the urban areas of Europe. In Ukraine and particularly in Uzhhorod, this indicator is much lower. Besides, the number of trees are increasingly declining in the city. That is why Bohdan started acting to change the situation. To motivate others to take the action Bohdan shared information about himself and his activities with us.

About Bohdan

Bohdan Savytskiy is from Uzhhorod city, Ukraine. I study in 11th grade of V.S.Grandge-Donskiy school 6. Natural sciences were always of my interest and I have been actively researching the topic of ecology since twelve years. I summarised the findings of my focus in my research work “Planting agricultural plants in ecological paper cups”. It was also a great success for me to finish second at the regional level among environmental works on agronomy in 2019.

Solving tree problems in Uzhhorod

The next issue that worried me was the problem of trees felling as well as disease of trees in park areas of our city. I planted acorns near my house and I have been observing the process. Besides, together with my mentor and teacher, Anna Popovych, we approached officials responsible for the landscaping of the Uzhhorod city. We highlighted our concerns regarding lack of green spaces in Uzhhorod and offered our help to improve the situation. Moreover, we identified suitable places in the city to plant seedlings with the support of Iryna Shchoka, European Wilderness Society and Yuriy Derbal, NGO “FORZA”. We successfully planted a small alley with four oak seedlings in the city park, called “Pidzamkovyy”.

Why oak seedlings, you may ask. Common oak (Quercus robur) is widely spread in many areas of Europe and is one of the forest-forming species in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Besides, oaks develop massive root systems from a very young age and are resistant to extreme weather conditions.

Further plans

Tree planting in Uzhhorod will continue and this is just the beginning: plans include growing seedlings for planting on larger territories. And we already planted several young oak seedlings. During the UzhGreenFest, I met a lot of likeminded people, learned useful information and gained a good understanding in the criteria for planting seedlings. In the future I hope to walk and relax with my children in our beautiful green city alleys.

Students like Bohdan motivate me to continue teaching! Cooperations with NGOs like European Wilderness Society and FORZA open new horizons for local youth as well as for the sustainable development of the region.

Hanna Popovych,
Biology teacher in Uzhhorod

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