New forest in Nowa Huta. ArcelorMittal Poland plants 70 000 trees for 70th anniversary of district
A new forest is being planted in Nowa Huta where the Polish plant of Kraków is located. This is one of the initiatives of ArcelorMittal Poland to celebrate with the city the 70th anniversary of the founding of both our steel plant and the Nowa Huta district.
On 26 March, representatives of the board of ArcelorMittal Poland including chairman Geert Verbeeck, plant directors and employees of the Kraków steel plant planted 70 oaks, initiating the "70,000 trees for 70 years of Nowa Huta" campaign. Just behind the oak trees planted today, our colleagues will successively plant many more trees. Ultimately, on the area of nearly 12 hectares, 70,000 seedlings will be planted – oaks, small-leaved lime, hornbeam or sycamore. These species are adequately matched to the existing ecosystem.
Krakow wants to join the group of Polish cities, which – like Katowice – can enjoy forests covering nearly 40 percent of the city's space.
“Our afforestation plan assumes that by 2040 forests will cover 8 percent of Krakow's area. At the moment, wooded areas constitute only 4.3 percent. The initiative of the Krakow steel plant fits perfectly into urban needs, because greenery is very important for residents. The planting action of 70,000 trees for Nowa Huta makes us all the more pleased that we no longer have enough of our own land,” says mayor of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski.
The Krakow steel plant has been supporting initiatives that allow creating green gardens and squares for the residents of Nowa Huta, such as the "Gardens of Nowa Huta" project which, together with the Cultural Centre Norwida, has already created 14 social estate gardens and supported the planting of new trees and shrubs in the Bieńczycki Planty.
“The 70th anniversary of the founding of the steel plant and Nowa Huta is an important jubilee, which we want to celebrate in a way that will leave something lasting and useful for our neighbours, the residents of Nowa Huta and Krakow. Trees are one of the most valuable elements of urban space. We eagerly allocated our own land for afforestation so that our employees planted trees for themselves, their families and neighbours from Nowa Huta,” says Geert Verbeeck, chairman of the board of ArcelorMittal Poland.
“Over the last 70 years, our Krakow steel plant has become a completely different plant, which constantly invests and limits its impact on the environment. We are changing and we hope that our metallurgical forest will also be an impulse for further green changes in the city's space,” he adds.
The 70 oak trees planted in Nowa Huta today inaugurated the planting of 70,000 trees. The forest will grow successively, in the months that favour tree planting – in spring and autumn this and next year. Young trees will be fenced to protect them from destruction by wild boars, roe deer and hares. In the future, when the trees grow older, the fence will no longer be needed.
“ArcelorMittal Poland is a good example of responsible business, paying attention to the needs of the place where it operates. Our cooperation, in which we try to create more greenery for residents, is doing very well, and it benefits both the city and the residents. The tree planting action shows that the responsibility for the afforestation of the city lies not only on the side of officials, but all of us, including companies operating in Krakow,” says Łukasz Pawlik, deputy director of the Municipal Management Board in Krakow. “We would like other companies, following this example, to contribute to the afforestation of the city.”
Forest areas, parks and green spaces play a very important role in cities, as trees produce oxygen and absorb pollutants, which has a significant impact on air quality. A hectare of adult forest within 24 hours produces about 700 kilograms of oxygen, satisfying the daily demand of 2.5 thousand people.