Fruitful BAM150 Plant-a-tree Day

2 December 2019 11:31
Fruitful BAM150 Plant-a-tree Day

Dressed for gardening with wellies and gloves, and carrying their spades, more than 100 BAM volunteers from BAM Infra, BAM Bouw & Vastgoed and BAM PPP dug in together yesterday to plant trees in the Waalse Bos woodland near Houten, the Netherlands. Some colleagues had brought their children to underline that planting trees symbolises preserving the Earth for future generations.

Approximately 100 BAM colleagues got together yesterday to plant more than 1,000 trees in the Waalse Bos woodland. They met at Fort WKU, a former Ministry of Defence location that is currently a centre of nature education and responsible entrepreneurship, where they were welcomed by Mario Broos, chairman of BAM Bouw en Vastgoed Nederland.

Mario: ‘I am very pleased to see so many colleagues and their children here today. Despite the weather you have come to plant trees in a gesture towards the future. Today we are demonstrating what BAM’s vision is all about: We want to design, develop, build, operate and maintain a sustainable living environment that enhances the lives of people. What could be a better way to celebrate our 150th anniversary than to plant trees in the BAM home countries as well as in Bolivia and Uganda. And I think it is fantastic to be part of that, here today in Tull en ’t Waal together with more than 100 BAM colleagues. Enjoy the day, everyone!’

After a short introduction to tree-planting from the forester of Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch national forestry organisation, our BAM colleagues stepped outside dressed for gardening, with wellies and gloves, and carrying their spades. Wellies were definitely not a vanity, as the rains of the previous days had left the soil muddy and full of puddles – much to the enjoyment of the children, who splashed around in the water and the mud. The wet clay made digging holes for planting hard work, but our BAM crew put shoulders to the wheel and pushed on determinedly, together with about a dozen foresters of Staatsbosbeheer.

After the morning session, everyone got back together at Fort WKU to warm up with soup and sandwiches, and at the close of day they were served hot cocoa and snacks. In the spirit of the season, the tree planters were also rewarded for being on their best behaviour with a surprise visit from Santa Claus and his helpers.

A selection of comments from the enthusiastic tree planters:

‘So much fun to be doing this together with my children. I think it’s important to teach the children we need to take good care of our planet, in order to be able to enjoy it now and in the future.’

‘It’s been great fun doing this all together, the perfect example of teambuilding. And with excellent results: our team of four has managed to plant 51 trees!’

‘The soggy soil made it hard work, but it’s been wonderful to be working outdoors, a welcome change from being in the office sitting behind a screen.’

‘I have really enjoyed this day, and I’ve had a chance to speak to colleagues who I haven’t seen in years.’

‘While we were planting I really had a sense that we were creating the future. I’m planning to come back here in a year or so to see how our trees have done.’

‘Our team is definitely going back next year to see how our hard work has resulted in a lovely new piece of woodland!’

‘It was already a lovely experience just planting the trees together with my children, but then the added surprise of a visit by Santa Claus and his helpers really made the day for them.’

Collaboration

BAM has teamed up in this tree planting initiative with Trees for All and Staatsbosbeheer. In the Waalse Bos woodland near the village of Tull en ’t Waal a total of 10,000 new trees are being planted in the woodland that has suffered greatly from ash dieback, a fungal disease. Ash trees that have had to be cut are being replaced with a large variety of species.

Simone Groenendijk, managing director of Trees for All: ‘We are proud to be working alongside BAM. Together we will realise the planting of 150,000 new trees in 2019. The initiative has also inspired other organisations to team up with our foundation in their own tree planting programmes, for which we are grateful to BAM. BAM’s initiative to celebrate its 150th anniversary this way is a wonderful gift to the planet and to the many generations who will live on it after us.’