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Vilnius to create first Urban Forest

Vilnius to create first Urban Forest

The Ozas Park project is part of the Green Wave campaign to make the city streets greener and cosier

Vilnius City Municipality has set an ambitious goal to plant more than 100,000 trees, 10 million bushes, and 300,000 climbing vines within the next two years as part of its Green Wave campaign. A key role in this drive has been assigned to the Urban Forest, a pilot project to establish a biodiversity afforestation ecosystem in Vilnius’ Ozas Park. 

High density planting, faster growth  

Partnered by the green investment platform Foros, forestry service provider Skogran and Vilnius City Municipality, the project aims to raise public awareness around sustainable afforestation in urban areas.  

It is the first attempt in Lithuania to incorporate the methodology of the Miyawaki urban forest into the national forestry traditions. The method, which is inspired by the processes and diversity manifested in nature, involves planting two to four native trees per square metre, much denser than in commercial forestry.  

Self-sustaining Miyawaki forests grow within two to three years, considerably faster compared to the use of conventional afforestation techniques. Densely planted trees overshadow one another and compete for space and access to light and water, encouraging much faster growth.

Example worth following

"Forests are the lungs of the world. They regulate the balance of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and humidity in our atmosphere. They sequester carbon better than any other known solution and contribute to our sense of well-being. This project is a step towards a greener world, and we hope it will encourage other cities, countries and continents to follow suit," says Justas Kaveckas, the founder of Foros.  

Skogran's foresters have overseen a suitable selection of greenery for the 0.25-hectare forest in Ozas Park. Up to 700 trees will be planted, including Scots pine, juniper, rowan, and hazel. 

From day one of afforestation, the parties will conduct regular monitoring to see how the plants coexist and what makes certain species flourish (microclimatic conditions, soil composition, etc.) The companies have prepared an on-site programme for residents interested in the seedling planting technology used by the foresters. 

Educative park 

"Everyone should try planting forests. It's not only calming activity, but you get to be a part of forest restoration and help the world to neutralize our CO2 footprint in the years to come. Urban forest will be an educative park where visitors can learn about five different Lithuanian pine forests. Our purpose is to improve people's knowledge about nature that surrounds us and to show that planting forests benefits each and every one of us," adds Laurynas Sederevičius, Business Development Manager of Skogran.

Commenting on the project, Vilnius mayor Remigijus Simasius said: "The Urban Forest is a great example of how companies can strengthen the green wave in Vilnius with valuable ideas and concrete actions. The support from business enterprises in similar projects will speed up the planting of greens across the city, thereby helping us attain our goal. Projects like these are also great for community building."

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