Every Tree Counts // Join the Green Heart Craftivism Action to Celebrate Earth Day and the Day of Trees in Bonn


Show your love for trees, Mother Earth and everything we want to protect from the climate crisis!

People of all ages and backgrounds are cordially invited to particpate in a local craftivism action to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and the national Day of Trees (April 25) in Bonn. The 2021 Earth Day theme is #RestoreOurEarth. You can drop off your “tree hearts” at various locations around town:

  • April 17, 11 am – 3 pm // Tannenbusch House – Urban Gardening Workshop
  • April 18, 11 am – 2 pm // Rising Garden at Finkenberg – Opening of a new intercultural community garden in Beuel (Burg Limperich) with planting activity
  • April 25, 11 am – 1 pm // Hofgarten – Parachutes for the Planet display & Earth Drumming at the Maple Tree planted in 1952 on the first Day of Trees in Germany
  • April 25, 2 pm – 5 pm // Klimawächter (Tree Guardians) community outreach at Park Carstenjan in Plittersdorf on the Rhine River Promenade next to the UN compound.

Note: All current Covid19 outdoor distance and hygiene rules must be observed.

The creative Earth Week activation is inspired by the annual #ShowTheLove campaign of the Climate Coalition in the UK and the heart logo the International Day of Forests (March 21).

Forest Mail at Kottenforst (Photo: Sandra Prüfer)

You can also bring your homemade green hearts to the “Forest Mail” at the Zeitenwende outdoor exhibit at Kottenforst (Venner Allee) or hang them from a tree in your garden or outside in the public to turn our attention toward the environment and the threats to its well-being, from air pollution to climate change. Take photos and post your artwork on social media with the hashtags #Baumherzen#ForNature#ForFuture#EarthDay2021#TagdesBaumes#RestoreOurEarth

Could 2021 be a turning point for forests and climate change? (Photo: Sandra Prüfer)

The Zeitenwende (turning point) exhibit is organized by the regional forestry department and aimed at raising awareness about the dramatic forest dieback and how to make the forest more resistant to climate change. The exhibit includes photography and other artwork set against the backdrop of dead spruce trees.

According to the national 2020 State of the Forest Report published in late February, forests deteriorated at record levels. More trees died in Germany last year than in any other privious year. Only 21 percent of trees had an intact canopy. Germany’s forests are suffering from three consecutive drought years, storms, fires, bark beetle infestation and other tree diseases.

President Theodor Heuss planted this Maple Tree at Bonn Hofgarten on the occasion of the first Arbor Day (Day of Trees) in West Germany on April 25, 1952

Forests provide wildlife habitat, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities. They filter our air and water and pull carbon out of the atmosphere. Trees are vital to life as we know it.

The Day of Trees (or Arbor Day) is an international observance day that encourages individuals and groups to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. It was introduced in Germany in 1952 by the Bonn-based environmental organisation Schutzgemeingemeinschaft Deutscher Wald (Association for Protection of German Forest).

Arbor Day sprouted from the mind of Julius Sterling Morton, an US-American farmer and journalist. The first Arbor Day occurred on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska. It’s estimated that nearly one million trees were planted on this day. “Arbor Day is not like other holidays. Each of those reposes on the past, while Arbor Day proposes for the future,” Morton said.

The date was later changed to April 22 to honor Morton’s birthday. In 1970, April 22 became modern Earth Day. Today, many countries around the world observe a Tree Planting holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.

Since 1970 many important environmental events have happened on Earth Day, including in 2016 the signing of the Paris Agreement by 174 countries and the European Union. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. US-President Joe Biden will host a high-level virtual Earth Day summit on April 22 with 40 world leaders “to galvanize efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis.” The summit will be live streamed for public viewing. To learn more about Earth Day 2021, visit: https://earthday.org/earth-day-2021 


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