It used to be the typical landscape of Patagonia. Overflowing with the green of thousands of trees that decorated Chubila's Chubut mountains. Cypresses of the Cordillera and Coihues, which were there hundreds of years before that area became a prosperous tourist town. But in 2015 the fire arrived, mutating to that 40,000 hectare forest in a cemetery of charred logs and ashes. That two-month forest fire was the worst in the history of the country.
Four years later, 85 young people crossed that bleak gray field carrying huge backpacks full of seedlings on their backs to work with shovels for long days, where the temperature varied between 14 ° and -4 °, with the aim of returning to Chubut that paradise
This is how Sebastián Homps, executive director of the
Association of Friends of Patagonia (AAP), the third stage of the ecological restoration program
Volunteers from different cities of the country and the world settled on the 4 days of the last long weekend of April in the forest of Cholila with the goal of planting 11,500 seedlings -which is equivalent to about 20 hectares- of cypresses and coihues, about 40 centimeters high, at specific points of the mountain where, otherwise, plants of the original fauna could not grow back naturally.
“The whole picture is a bit sad and desolate, but seeing a whole group of people working together is amazing”, says Stephanie Kennard, a native of Río Gallegos and coordinator of the education area of the AAP, about the latest experience in reforestation .
ReforestArg was born in 2016, when Tobías Merlo, a graduate in Environmental Sciences, undertook, along with two agricultural friends, a trip of three and a half months through Patagonia to investigate the main environmental problems, arriving at the conclusion that the most viable solution to recover the forests native was reforestation. After presenting their research and allying with AAP, they decided to put their knowledge into practice in the native forest of Cholila.
All the seedlings were donated by individuals, social organizations and companies that support the initiative. “Argentines are very supportive and the desire to care for nature is in everyone.
With this program we want to give you the opportunity to join, either coming to plant with your own hands, doing it remotely through online donations or spreading our actions on the networks, “says Homps.
Among the next objectives of the organization is the fourth plantation in Cholila, possibly in September, and to finalize the Red Reforestarg project, so that more people from all over the country can plant trees in their own provinces and cities.