For the past seven years, the Ekopolis Foundation (along with help this year from the Skanska Group) has organised a poll to select Slovakia’s Tree of the Year. A black poplar from Bratislava won the award this year, edging out a 400 year-old elm from Liptovské Revúce and a 605 year-old large-leaved linden from Myjava. Almost 3,800 votes selected the winner from among the twelve competitors in the final round.
This Tree of the Year also has the moniker of Hero-Tree, as it is one of just very few green organisms that survived the urbanisation of Petržalka and the construction of the Economic University on whose premises it stands. The aim of the annual contest is to arouse interest among people in their natural environment and its protection.
“We intend to support a positive stance by people towards their environment and to take responsibility and create a positive attitude,” said Milan Hronec, programme manager of the Ekopolis Foundation, on October 22 when announcing the results. Individuals as well as towns and villages, schools, companies or organisations could register a tree in the competition until May 20.
The reward for the winning tree is lifelong dendrology expertise and treatment by specialists if in need, as well as a financial reward for maintaining its surroundings. “The number of nominated trees has been growing every year and more people than even took part in the voting. For that reason, I have hope that people are taking some responsibility for the state of the environment around them and they are becoming aware that they can influence their surroundings and its quality to some extent,” Hronec told the TASR newswire.