Nov 3, 2023 9:00 AM
10,000 trees for a thriving forest: Groundbreaking ceremony for the project "Our Forest for Generations.” in the Kirchheller Heide near Bottrop
The first of 10,000 trees have been planted in the Kirchheller Heide near Bottrop. This marks the start of an important nature conservation project led by thyssenkrupp Schulte in collaboration with the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) and Planted. The young trees will help the forest in the local recreation area to regenerate naturally. The partners kicked off this special project with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on November 2, 2023. The first trees were planted personally by Detlef Schotten, Chief Executive Officer of thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH, Dr. Adrian Seeger, Chief Sales Officer of thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH, and Holger Böse, Head of the RVR's own company Ruhr Grün. With the project „Our Forest for Generations.“ (German: “Unser Wald für Generationen.”) thyssenkrupp Schulte is setting an example and preserving a valuable forest for present and future generations.
"As a company, we are firmly rooted in the Ruhr region. We can look back on a company tradition that goes back more than 125 years. It is therefore a matter of course for us to think not only about our company, but also about the district and the people in the region. We are preserving this beautiful and liveable forest for the people of Bottrop and the entire Ruhr region," says Detlef Schotten.
"The preservation of such a magnificent natural landscape is a task that concerns us all. The protection and maintenance of such a mixed forest is a project that combines responsibility for nature with social commitment. I am proud that with the trees planted today, we have made a start on preserving the Kirchheller Heide as a natural area and excursion destination for future generations," says Dr. Adrian Seeger, describing his impressions of the planting.
The Kirchheller Heide is a unique heath landscape with old, mature trees, lakes and meadows in the middle of the Ruhr region. A local recreation area that gives people in the Ruhr area peace, strength and relaxation. However, the natural regeneration of the forest has come to a standstill. Young trees are barely able to develop and grow. Without human help, there is a great risk that the trees will die and the forest will be lost. This is what "Our Forest for Generations." is supposed to prevent.
Harmony between forestry, environmental protection and local recreation
The project is made possible by the cooperation of thyssenkrupp Schulte, the RVR's own company Ruhr Grün and Planted.
"The Ruhr region has the ambitious goal of becoming the greenest industrial region in the world. Extensive reforestation, such as the 10,000 trees now being planted in Kirchheller Heide, is one of many steps in this direction. Especially in such a densely populated conurbation as the Ruhr metropolis, the forest is becoming increasingly important as a place of leisure and recreation for people," explains Karola Geiß-Netthöfel, Regional Director of the Ruhr Regional Association. The RVR's own company Ruhr Grün is responsible for the maintenance and further development of the Kirchheller Heide recreational area. With the Heidhof, the association also operates a forest education center in the middle of the Kirchheller Heide for students from North Rhine-Westphalia.
"The preservation of living and resilient mixed forests is a crucial contribution to protecting our environment. The trees planted here will continue to make a sustainable contribution to a healthy and liveable environment for decades to come," says climate forester Jan Borchert from Planted. The team supports companies and public institutions in the implementation of reforestation and forest protection measures.
Planting supported by thyssenkrupp Schulte
With the project "Our Forest for Generations." the partners are helping to protect, preserve and restore the 20 km2 of mixed forest in the Kirchheller Heide. The 10,000 trees will be planted across the entire Kirchheller Heide according to the specifications of RVR district forester Werner Meemken. In the course of the planting campaign, trees up to 1.5 meters tall from certified regional tree nurseries will be used. Over the next few decades, these saplings and small trees will form the future mixed forest in Kirchheller Heide. Beech, maple, oak and cherry trees will then enrich the local recreation area.
thyssenkrupp Schulte GmbH, headquartered in Essen, is part of thyssenkrupp Materials Services and the leading materials distributor and service provider for steel, stainless steel and nonferrous metals in Germany. Through a network of over 40 locations, customers from various manufacturing sectors including industry, the skilled trades and construction are served. The portfolio ranges from a broad product assortment of flat products, profiles and tubes to expert technical advice and a comprehensive range of services along the value chain.