The latest Citizen Engagement Activity “Whispering of the trees” was successful, even in bad weather conditions. With support from the Interreg Volunteer Youth the two-days event open for everybody took place in Eberswalde.
Please also read: Nature deserves our respect
On the first evening, we got together in the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development and had a nice, informative time. Providing homemade chili con/sin carne, cheese, tortilla chips and beverages was sufficient and tasty. First we informed the participants about the EU Cohesion Policy, which plays a crucial role in projects distributed across Europe. Furthermore, we highlighted projects that help the region and Brandenburg, including the BEECH POWER project. It was great to see that already some participants knew about Interreg. After introducing the work of the European Wilderness Society, the evening ended with a ‘Wild Movie Night’.
Exploring the forest with your senses
On the second day, the weather turned unfortunately pretty bad. The scheduled presentations of guest speakers Martin Flade, the director of the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin, and Frederik Bewer, the major of Angermünde, therefore had to be cancelled. Luckily we were very flexible and adapted to a new schedule!
Instead of the original plan to go to the old beech trees in the World Heritage forest Grumsin, we visited a mixed-forest near the University of Eberswalde. Here, the coordinating Interreg Volunteer introduced all the participants to the all-senses workshop. Divided over five different locations, we explored the forest together using our hearing, sight, smell, taste and feeling. The participants wrote down their experiences for the second part of the workshop.
Even though I was sceptical in the beginning with using all senses to experience the forest, I was positively surprised! I had a really great time and it was something completely different than what you normally do or experience while walking through the forest.
Transforming experiences in to poems
After the all-senses workshop, we summarised our experiences on paper, before returning to the campus. There we were able to warm ourselves up again, and enjoy some more food and beverages. As the final part of the workshop, we transformed the experiences that the participants wrote down during the workshop into artistic poems! In the end, the participants shared the poems with each other, and it was great to hear how they became so inspired by the forests around them.
Read one of the poems (in German) below:
Feucht und kalt ist es im Wald,
die Tropfen und das Laub erzeugen ein Rauschen.
Der erdige Geruch schafft ein wohliges Gefühl im Bauch,
und die Stille lädt ein zum Lauschen.
Das Grün der Pflanzen zieht sich zurück,
und neue Farben entstehen.
Präsentiert von den Blättern hoch oben in den Kronen,
die beim nächsten Sturm verwehen.
Trotz der Gemächlichkeit der Bäume,
ist Schönheit selten von Dauer.
Was die Natur macht ist faszinierend.
Doch was die Menschheit macht, macht mich sauer.