Bushshot – This weekend, 6,000 trees will be planted in the Molenbeek Valley in Bouchut. Schools, associations and residents: This weekend, it’s the turn of the entire municipality to create a forest for the future. This morning, the plants were planted by, among others, Luk Lemmens (N-VA) – Zuidrand District Program Representative – and Mayor Koen T’Sijen (PRO Boechout & Vremde) and Chris Sweijers (Green), Alderman for Climate.
The Molenbeek source area is located between the village centers of Boechout and Vremde. Molenbeek, or Bijelbeek according to the name of the province, originates in this region.
The land will be developed this year and next. For example, there will be a boardwalk in the wet section, a forest to play in, a deer resting place, a food forest and a community garden. This creates space for water storage, nature development, and a play and nature experience area.
Ziegen: This project started in 2020 with the purchase of three hectares of land. In 2021 we were able to purchase an additional 3.5 hectares. 6.5 hectares, roughly the size of ten football fields. This is just one piece of the puzzle. Here in the Molenbeek Valley there is certainly potential to expand the nature reserve even further. By planting a total of 8,000 trees, we will be able to sequester 170 tons of carbon dioxide for the benefit of the climate. ‘
“The municipality of Boechout is investing approximately 350,000 euros in the project and we have also been able to request financial support from the Nature and Forest Agency and the County of Antwerp to purchase the area. We can also use it to purchase planting materials. We also rely on the BOS+ Climate Forest Fund. We receive a total of 380,485 euros in subsidies.”
Lemmens: ‘From the district programme, we want as a district to connect and enhance the fragmented open space at the southern end of Antwerp. In this way we work for a climate-safe future and give everyone the opportunity to discover and experience this region. This weekend’s planting campaign with colleagues from Antwerp forestry groups fits perfectly into this process.
Swigers: “The ambitions for climate and the environment are big, but in Boechout they are grasped with both hands: in the Molenbeek Valley, the plans we set for climate and the environment in this legislature have become a reality. We promised in the Tree Charter to ‘plant as many trees as possible’ With these 8,000 trees, we are on our way to achieving the goal of one tree per person by 2030.
According to the ships, the heavy rainfall in recent days makes it clear that a large area must be provided for water. “The Molenbeek River flows into the Molenbeek Valley. This area acts as a sponge and as a buffer during heavy rains. Natuurpunt will build a comprehensive boardwalk here, so that the area becomes accessible to all residents, including people with limited mobility. At the same time, it can That the plants grow well there. Species specific to this area are literally appearing and have every chance to develop again. “Also this weekend, we will plant only local greenery. “Biodiversity gains big here.”
“This weekend, it is the turn of the entire municipality to plant the forest of the future here. On Thursday afternoon, municipal employees planted the first trees and shrubs in the ground, yesterday the primary schools came (see photo), and today there are students from Sint Gabriel College, youth associations and many Of the inhabitants. Together they create a new forest that connects our people from the moment it is planted. Nature can develop and the generations that come after us will find a green and beautiful place to rest and play here. (M/Photo by Bouchut Municipality)
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