Civil Engagement in Freiburg's Ecology - Information about the Program in 2021
Enjoying "Kraut und Rüben"
Urban gardens are tiny oases in public green spaces which are used and looked after by voluntary gardeners. The focus rests on community and ecology. The gardens are accessible for everyone and offer important habitats for animals, birds and insects in the city. Helping out in urban gardens is a perfect way to make new contacts with adults, children and young people from the community. Most of the gardens once were park areas or lawns which were converted to urban gardens with the help of the GuT.
Working in urban gardens teaches you a lot about the cultivation of local foods, self-sufficiency and sustainability. You experience and discover a lot about nature and the environment. Freiburg packt an also offers workshops on how to cut fruit trees and other theme-related events about gardening. There are about 20 urban gardens in Freiburg. The voluntary gardeners are in contact with each other, they exchange planting material and ideas and they enhance the value of green spaces through their work.
Colourful "Root Gardens" – Flowers with "Zipp"
Many of the approximately 21000 street trees in Freiburg are surrounded by small green areas. These so called Baumscheiben („root gardens“) are maintained by tree sponsor citizens who also keep things clean and tidy around the tree. The root gardens often develop into precious biotopes within the city which are visited by wild bees and birds. The „Ökostation“ provides expert advice on maintaining the biological diversity of these places.
The planting of locally suitable seed mixtures lets Freiburg truly flourish. The sponsored root gardens can be recognised by small sponsorship signs. Fences, wooden structures and stones are not allowed on these areas for traffic safety reasons. Many hundred tree sponsorships increase biodiversity in the city, improve local conditions for trees and are simply nice to look at. The active sponsors identify with their immediate local area and enhance neighbourly cooperation. Further information can be found in the flyer „Tree Sponsorships for flourishing Green in front of your House door“.
Sit Down and Slow Down
Anyone who enjoys sitting down in the city can volunteer to repaint benches in public parks and green areas. The GuT provides you with varnish or paint, brushes, sandpaper and any other necessary material to rub down the benches and repaint them. Individual volunteers are given a painting set with material. Larger groups are on application accompanied and equipped by the Freiburg packt an-Team.
Valuable places for rest and relaxation are improved by this cooperative work. The attractive benches encourage people to take a little time and enjoy Freiburg.
Playboxes to discover
There are over 160 small and large playgrounds in Freiburg to play and spend time in. Some people are particularly involved in their playground and become playground sponsors. These volunteers are supported by the Kinderbüro, the Spielmobil e.V. and Freiburg packt an. A playground can be improved and worked upon together with the GuT.
The sponsor groups engender new ideas and suggestions. Many take advantage of the city's offer to provide a large playbox with colourful material at the playground. The contents enhance the possibilities of the amenity with extra toys for the children such as parachute blankets, wheel barrows or big pipes. The playboxes also contain benches simply for sitting down and chatting with neighbours or for use in playground parties. Children thus start to already learn about civil engagement in sandpits!
Summertime – Time to Help
Learning by Doing
Freiburg packt an offers an interesting summertime programme for children, young people, schools, holiday groups and kindergartens. Applicants can help on project days such as „Beautiful Benches“ or „Clean-up-Actions“. Freiburg's „holiday passport children“ learn about gardening and the plant world in urban gardens. Scout groups and sports clubs collect fallen chestnut leaves in parks and install nesting boxes in the trees.
This is all about getting to know the city's ecology in a playful way while doing valuable work in public spaces. In this way young people learn a lot about the environment and the ecological balance in the city. This is learning by doing. The focus lies on the theme of sustainability for future generations and the practical assumption of responsibilty for public green spaces.
Protecting the Horse Chestnut Trees
"Get rid of the Moth!"
The pest horse chestnut leaf miner moth infests the foliage of the horse chestnuts and seriously weakens the trees of the city. The fallen leaves must be regularly and thouroughly collected and specially disposed of. If this process is performed continously the trees start to visibly recover and the population of the miner moth is reduced in the long term. To encourage natural enemies of the moth, nesting boxes for birds are installed.
Freiburg packt an has been supporting citizens in this action since 2009. Volunteers are given special leaf bags for disposal of the chestnut foliage. These are collected by the ASF. Larger groups are given an introduction and equipment, gloves, etc. by the GuT. Free wooden construction kits for nesting boxes can be ordered from Freiburg packt an. These are the only effective and environmentally friendly measures against this pest.
Freiburg Cleans Up!
Spring cleaning for everyone
Public green spaces are unfortunately often misused for rubbish disposal and thus lose their charm as pleasant spaces for rest and relaxation. Freiburg packt an supports anyone who wishes to participate in cleaning up the city. In co-operation with citizens' groups, local administrations, schools and other groups the GuT and the ASF have offered the action „Freiburg Cleans Up!“ since 2014.
Every spring over 1000 people collect many tons of rubbish in all parts of the city. They are equipped with gloves, collection tools and rubbish bags and they contribute significantly to making the city more beautiful with their collective action. Freiburg packt an also offers organisational support for further clean-up-actions. Rubbish-free and intact natural spaces in the city are an important element in our lives.