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Launch of urban forest in Anderlecht in hope of greener future

Rudy Vervoort at Institut Redouté-Peiffer in Anderlecht
12:01 18/10/2022

A tree planting project, Unity Forest, has been launched in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht by the French Community Commission (COCOF) and Institut Redouté-Peiffer, reports RTL.

Brussels minister president Rudi Vervoort, who’s in charge of COCOF, joined students and local schoolchildren in planting the first trees on Friday. "The creation of this urban micro-forest will undoubtedly generate beneficial effects both for the pupils and members of the staff of the neighbouring schools and for all the inhabitants of the district and beyond," he said.

Unity Forest is an initiative by Redouté-Peiffer school’s horticulture department to plant 8,400 trees in a three-hectare plot to create Brussels biggest urban forest. It aims to restore the local natural heritage and improve the quality of the environment by lowering the surrounding temperature by 2°C during future heatwaves.

Bringing their expertise to the project is Urban Forests, a specialist in Europe for creating fast-growing urban forests. Taking into account the small space, it decided to create the best ecological conditions for the trees to grow and only plant native trees that are best adapted to the local conditions.

As the plot belongs to the Redouté-Peiffer technical school, it will manage the forest for a period of two years. Afterwards, it will be left to grow independently.

Primary and lower secondary students from around Brussels came to help plant the seedlings on Friday. Unfortunately, they will have to wait around 20 years to see their contributions grow into a proper forest.

Photo: Rudi Vervoort visiting Institut Eedouté-Peiffer in June 2022

Written by Louis Kernoa-Pascoe