Austrian Scouts Engage in Reforestation
“Well done, Scouts!” titled the newspaper earlier this summer, when it featured the local Scout and Guide Group’s volunteer engagement in their home town. Not only does the Group of Telfs (Pfadfinder Telfs, in Tirol, Austria) celebrate its 90th anniversary this year, but since May 2017, the Group’s Ventures and Rovers have been engaged in many voluntary work operations to reforest the area around the newly built fresh water reservoir in Telfs-Birkenfeld. Around 900 trees and bushes have been planted so far!
While the costs for the plants are taken over by the municipality of Telfs the Scouts and Guides offer their time free of charge. And that's not so little: they have counted some 200 working hours so far!
The project is run under the able leadership of Othmar and Laurin and with expert advice provided by the town's Department for Environment, Forests and Agriculture.
"Before we chose the different varieties of plants and bushes," explains Othmar, “we consulted latest findings related to potential impact of climate change. We also considered risks of bark beetle plague and storm hazard.”
“During this analysis, we learnt that the sunny location and the expected warmer climate makes it possible to include a small avenue of sixteen noble chestnuts."
Indeed, the variety of planted species is impressive: apart from the noble chestnuts, the list contains hornbeam, larch, birch, grey alder, oak, wayfarer, green barberry, common spindle, maple, sycamore, spruce, fir, wild cherry, elm, and mountain ash.
The Scouts will also take care of the new forest over the summer, which means that they will regularly pass to water the young plants, to remove weed and to protect them against strong winds.
It will take some time, though, before the younger members of the Scout and Guide Group of Telfs will be able to play hide and seek in “their” new forest.
Contributing to text and pictures: Pfadfindergruppe Telfs 2017, Telfer Gemeindezeitung 2017