Croatian Scouts led 1200 volunteers to plant another 12,000 trees last weekend as part of the “Boranka” campaign, their third reforestation action so far in 2019. They planted native conifer trees and deciduous species in the Split area, specifically Sitno Gornje, below the Star Village of Mosor, which was devastated by a catastrophic fire in 2017.
More than 300 Scouts from Split, Omiš, Trogir, Dugi Rat, Velika Gorica, Samobor, Koprivnica, Stupnik, Okić, Križevci, and Bjelovar participated alongside volunteers from the Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, the Civil Protection Directorate, the City of Split, members of the Croatian Navy, local schools, university students, local club members, volunteers from Atos and Raiffeisen Bank employees, the main sponsor of the Boranka campaign. The Split Scouts were also in charge of the organisation and welcoming all of the volunteers over the weekend.
“A more beautiful and healthier environment is our common legacy for future generations. Split Scouts will continue to be available to their community, and to all who have participated in this great undertaking so far, we thank you! We are embracing nature with more and more hands,” said Edi Peric, Split Scouts President.
The project, which is part of the wider Messengers of Peace Initiative, is the largest voluntary reforestation activity ever organised in Croatia and has received incredible visibility both in and outside of Croatia, winning numerous prizes for its effective marketing campaign to reforest and revitalise areas burned by wildfires in Croatia. Amongst the many accolades, it has received the prestigious Grand Prix Effie, the first time a non-profit campaign has ever won, which has served to raise its profile further.
A key aspect of the project is the promotional campaign featuring a unique promotional tool called “Boralica”—a crayon made out of the ashes of pine trees burned by the wildfires in the Dalmatia Region. Initially, 115,000 Boralica crayons were sponsored and produced by Karbon Company, then distributed throughout Croatia with the printed edition of the largest national newspaper as well as via schools, kindergartens and other public places. Croatians use the crayons to draw their own tree, then upload a photo of it on the campaign website www.boranka.hr and for every virtual tree planted, Boranka volunteers plant a real one in the burned area. In this way, thousands of citizens throughout the country have been able to participate in the project.
To date, tens of thousands of conifers and deciduous trees have been planted and a schools’ programme is also being run by Scouts in partnership with the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service and Forestry Service, which has educated thousands of children on forest and environmental protection, fire prevention and the effects of climate change. And it doesn’t end here! The Scouts aim to enrol more volunteers and plant even more trees.