ESM students plant trees

The sun has not yet risen completely above the treetops when 22 pupils from the French language section of the European School Munich arrive in a clearing in the Truderinger Forest on Monday morning. They carry hoes and boxes full of seedlings with them. Their aim on this project day: planting trees.

But before that, the S5 pupils should learn what the forest and the planting action is all about. With the foresters Marion Schmid and Thomas Mayr from the municipal forestry administration, two experts who knows everything about the forest are present. "In a healthy forest you don't have to plant trees," explains Mayr. But here, drought, storms and bark beetles have infested the spruces that once stood in this clearing. Now new tree varieties have to be planted. Not all species are equally suitable for this particular location. That is why oaks and beeches are now being planted.

After a short instruction on how to plant the young trees correctly, the pupils start with a lot of enthusiasm. Hoe, dig, check the depth of the hole, put the seedling in, cover with soil, and carefully tamp down. The work makes you warm up quickly. Most of the pupils don't want to stop anyway.

During the breaks the pupils learn other interesting facts. They calculate how much CO2 they produce approximately per year and learn how many trees would have to be planted to compensate for this amount. For the European School Munich, the tree planting project is not only a nice activity on a project day, but also part of the lessons for sustainable development.

At this first meeting, the teacher of the Secondary School Pierre Meyssignac is present. As class teacher he also coordinates the strategy of the school for sustainable development. He is accompanied by Florbela Calado, and in the afternoon, when Mrs Calado's class plants trees, the roles are reversed. Together with Mrs. Schmöhe and Mrs. Heyraud, Mrs. Calado runs an Eco Club where pupils can get involved in environmental issues alongside their lessons. By mid-November, a total of five S5 classes will have planted trees. By the end of the tree planting campaign, they will probably have planted several hundred trees together.

After each lesson, the schoolchildren continue to work diligently. It takes about 200 years until a tall tree grows from the small oak seedlings. The oldest oaks in Europe are estimated to be over a thousand years old. It is a nice idea that in many decades there could still be trees in the Truderinger Forest that were planted by pupils of the European School Munich on that day. The European School Munich would like to thank the Munich Forestry Administration for making this planting campaign possible and for the competent support of Mrs Schmid and Mr Mayr.