#BAM150 adds 1.5 hectare to Belgian woodland
On Friday 22 November, 50 Belgian BAM colleagues together with pupils from local primary schools planted trees in the Steenbergse Bossen nature reserve near Zottegem, Belgium. This joint initiative from BAM and volunteer movement Natuurpunt adds 1.5 hectares of woodland to the nature reserve.
No less than 3,500 trees were planted this day, out of a total of 5,000 planted by Royal BAM Group in this location as part of the 150,000 trees that the company is planting worldwide to commemorate its 150th anniversary this year. This Friday’s batch was planted together with pupils from local primary schools De Smidse, De Kleine Planeet and Grotenberge, in the context of Natuurpunt’s programme Bos voor iedereen (‘woods for all’).
Vincent Colson, sustainability manager for BAM Belgium, was one of the volunteers and said: ‘We are planting trees to help save the planet for future generations. I think this is a wonderful initiative! It felt good today to be able to make my own small contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions together with the pupils of local schools.’
People and planet in harmony
Pieter Coessens, acting director of De Smidse and De Kleine Planeet, said: ‘Even at this young age, we feel it’s important the children understand the importance of trees. Planting trees together with them gives us a chance to teach them about all kinds of subjects, such as biology, geography and so on. The children showed great enthusiasm, even if things got a little muddy. By participating in this initiative, we were also able to propagate one of the cornerstones of our educational project: “living in harmony with people and the planet”.’
Trees for All is BAM’s partner in the global initiative to plant 100,000 trees in reforestation projects in Bolivia and Uganda and another 50,000 in the BAM home countries. In Belgium, Natuurpunt is Trees for All’s long-term partner.
Woodlands for human well-being
Natuurpunt was pleased with BAM’s contribution to its programme: ‘Woodlands are of crucial importance to the natural environment, clean air, the climate and human well-being. Natuurpunt wants to help ensure that we have more woodlands, especially near residential areas.’
‘BAM’s support for our activities extends beyond the financing of new trees: this Friday, BAM employees together with pupils of local schools planted the first series of trees, and Sunday our volunteers in the Zwalmvallei area together with local residents will complete the tree-planting initiative.’