UP TO the end of last year 376 people had bought a tree in the Private Nature Reserve Vlčia, Prešov Region, from the Wolf Forest Protection Association. Purchasers bought trees for themselves or for loved ones, and members of the association then planted them and will tend them. Buyers also got a certificate. “Last year, birthday gifts prevailed, together with wedding gifts, gifts given upon the birth of a child, and also Christmas gifts,” Dáša Lukáčová of the Wolf Association told the SITA newswire. Lukáčová manages the Buy Yourself Your Own Tree project.
Until 2008, the association sold each tree for Sk1,000 (€33.19), but last year the price changed to €50. This money is used to enhance the nature reserve; in December 2009, its income amounted to €15,749.14. The trees in the nature reserve, which is in the Čergov mountains in Prešov Region, have also been bought by people from the Czech Republic. In 1997, when the environmentalists started collecting funds, the reserve covered just 21.24 hectares. The forest, which is mainly fir and beech, has been under the strictest, fifth grade of protection for five years. Since 2002, when resources began to be used to expand the reserve, 15 further hectares of woods were bought. “Currently, we have ordered a geometrical plan for these plots, so that we can enhance the Private Nature Reserve Vlčia in this area too,” Lukáčová said. She added that last year they started negotiations with more land owners with an eye to buying more property and planting trees on it.
25. Jan 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská