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Great clean-up of Warsaw’s forests on 4-6 June 2024

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Great clean-up of Warsaw’s forests on 4-6 June 2024

A major clean-up of Warsaw’s forests took place on 4-6 June 2024. The event, organised by the One More Tree Foundation in cooperation with the Warsaw City Forests, brought together almost 200 volunteers from different corners of the capital, including Google and Citibank employees who were involved in the action as part of their employee volunteering.

Purpose of the action

The main objective of the action was to clean up Warsaw’s forest areas, which in recent years have become a place of illegal waste dumping. Warsaw’s forests, which are a place of rest and recreation for residents, are unfortunately increasingly being littered by irresponsible people dumping various types of waste in them. The organisers wanted not only to clean up these areas, but also to draw the residents’ attention to the problem of littering and encourage them to behave more responsibly.

Another important aspect of the campaign was public education. The organisers wanted to make residents aware of the importance of keeping forests and other green areas clean. Any rubbish left in the forest not only spoils its aesthetics, but also poses a threat to wild animals, which can be poisoned or entangled by it. The long-term aim was to create a habit among Warsaw residents of responsible waste handling and promote pro-ecological behaviour.

The campaign also aimed to strengthen social ties and build a sense of community among residents. Joint action to protect the environment can be an excellent opportunity to integrate the local community, especially in a city as large as Warsaw. Such activities show that each of us has a real impact on the reality around us and that together we can achieve much more.

Course of the event

The action began on 4 June, when volunteers, equipped with rubbish bags, protective gloves and tools for collecting waste, set to work. On that day, 20 volunteers from Citibank and 50 volunteers from Google focused on cleaning various parts of the Kabaty Forest, which is one of the most visited green areas in Warsaw. The next day, 5 June, 50 more volunteers from Google headed to Sobieski Forest, where they continued the clean-up. The culmination of the campaign was on 6 June, when another group of 50 Google volunteers worked in the Bielański Forest. Each day, the participants of the action worked with great dedication, searching every corner of the forests and collecting hundreds of kilograms of waste that polluted these precious areas.

Kabaty Forest

Located on the southern outskirts of Warsaw, Kabaty Forest is one of the largest and most visited forest areas in the capital. It covers an area of approximately 900 hectares and is an important recreational spot for the residents of Warsaw and the surrounding areas. It is a place of exceptional natural and landscape value, where a variety of plant and animal species can be found.

Kabaty Forest is a popular place for walks, cycling, running and picnics. Its paths attract nature lovers all year round, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are also numerous resting places and educational nature trails for locals to learn about local flora and fauna.

Sobieski Forest

Sobieski Forest, located in Warsaw’s Wawer district, is another valuable forest area in the capital. Known for its natural richness and biodiversity, Sobieski Forest is a popular place of rest and recreation for Warsaw residents. This green corner of the city offers numerous walking and cycling paths that attract lovers of nature and active recreation.

Sobieski Forest is characterised by a diverse tree stand dominated by pines, oaks and birches. The area is also home to many species of birds and small animals, making it an important place for the conservation of local fauna and flora. The wooded landscape also includes picturesque glades and areas conducive to picnics and family recreation.

Bielansky Forest

The Bielanski Forest, located in Warsaw’s Bielany district, is one of the oldest forest complexes in the capital and also one of the most charming. The forest, which is part of a larger nature reserve, covers an area of around 150 hectares and is an important recreational and nature spot for Warsaw residents. Its history dates back to the time when the area was part of the Mazovian Forest.

The Bielanski Forest is characterised by a diverse tree stand, dominated by oaks, hornbeams, lime trees and pines. The forest is also home to many species of birds, mammals and insects, making it a valuable natural habitat. The scenic walking and cycling paths that criss-cross the area attract nature lovers, walkers and cyclists throughout the year.

Why is it important to clean up forests?

Cleaning the forests of litter is extremely important for a number of reasons, both environmental and social. Firstly, waste left in forests poses a serious threat to wildlife. Animals can be poisoned by it, become entangled in plastic packaging or injure themselves on the sharp edges of discarded objects. Secondly, litter degrades the natural beauty of forests, discouraging residents and tourists from visiting the area. The polluted environment negatively affects our health and well-being and reduces the recreational and educational value of the forests. In addition, plastic and other inorganic waste can take hundreds of years to decompose, releasing harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater, leading to long-term pollution of ecosystems. Regular forest clean-ups also help to foster pro-environmental attitudes and raise public awareness about environmental protection, promoting responsibility and care for our natural resources.

Acknowledgements

The One More Tree Foundation and the participants in the campaign would like to thank the Warsaw City Forests for their invaluable cooperation and support in organising the event, as well as the Google and Citibank employees who volunteered their time to clean up the forests. Thanks to their commitment and professionalism, it was possible to carry out the action smoothly and ensure the safety of all participants.

Summary

The great clean-up of the Warsaw forests was not only an organisational success, but also an important step towards raising the environmental awareness of the capital’s inhabitants. Thanks to the involvement of so many people, it was possible to restore the natural beauty of Warsaw’s forests and draw attention to the need to care for the environment. 

The campaign showed that together we can achieve a lot, and that caring for our environment is a shared responsibility of each and every one of us.