The Croatian Scout Association presented the new season and activities in the continuation of the Boranka campaign, the largest volunteer action of afforestation of the fires in Dalmatia.
As announced, this year’s afforestation actions will continue as early as October 17, 2020, but with special respect for epidemiological measures. The total number of actions and volunteers will be smaller than in previous years, but since afforestation actions take place outdoors, it will be possible to maintain a sufficient distance between volunteers.
The scouts were joined at the press conference on Friday by representatives of the main partners and sponsors of the Boranka campaign – Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, Croatian Forests, Directorate of Civil Protection, Red Cross, Raiffeisen Bank and Radenska Adriatic.
Because of coronavirus measures, it will not be possible to hold educational workshops in schools this year but schools will be given free educational kits. Boranka organisers will provide 10,000 educational kits that schools will be able to receive completely free of charge. The packages will contain special pastel crayons made from burnt trees and an educational brochure on the importance of forests, nature protection, fire prevention, and the effects of climate change.
The Croatian Scout Association emphasises that the kits will be ready during November, when they will invite schools to contact them and pick them up free of charge.
Afforestation actions will be held this year in the area of the Split settlements of Žrnovnica and Sitno Donje, where the greatest damage occurred in the catastrophic fires of 2017. A total of 6 actions will take place over 3 weekends in October and November.
Volunteers will be provided with free transportation from the city of Split, from the terminal in Sukoišanska to the afforestation sites and back. All volunteers will receive protective equipment, planting equipment and tools, seedlings, drinking water, and a cold meal. Before the start of planting, volunteers will undergo a short briefing on-site, which will be held by experts from the Croatian Forests.
All information and applications for volunteering in afforestation actions can be obtained via e-mail [email protected].
“This season is extremely challenging due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we will do our best to continue planting trees on black Dalmatian fire sites in order to return the forests to where they once were. We will do this season with even more zeal, but with strict adherence to epidemiological measures and a call to all volunteers to be responsible because by protecting themselves they are protecting others as well. Boranka goes further and we are grateful for the full support of all our volunteers, partners and sponsors,” said Dan Špicer, the main coordinator of the Boranka campaign and the business director of the Croatian Scout Association.
Ante Taraš, the manager of the Split forestry, emphasised that they had provided enough seedlings and that their experts would continue to support the scouts and other volunteers of Boranka, who has already achieved exceptional success.
“We are very happy that we received a large number of seedlings from last year’s planting, which was helped by the watering actions that the reconnaissance volunteers and foresters carried out together this summer. Without watering the seedlings in this area, the success of afforestation itself would be much smaller,” concluded Taraš.
The Boranka campaign has so far included more than 6,300 volunteers who have planted more than 65,000 trees in fire-struck areas in Dalmatia in two years. Due to its efficiency and originality, Boranka has become the most awarded non-profit campaign in Croatian history, winning numerous national and international awards. As the organisers from the Croatian Scout Association emphasise, all these awards are an additional incentive for them to include even more volunteers and crews of the new tens of thousands of trees in the fires of Dalmatia.