An autonomous and closed site was the goal, when the ground was first broken for the IDT Biologika bypass road in April 2014. The public road cutting through the company grounds, which posed a safety risk as well as obstructing business operations, was to become a thing of the past. Since then traffic has been rerouted to the bypass, and other construction projects contribute to IDT Biologika’s constantly changing appearance. In mid-December it was time to give some nearby neglected land back to nature.
The figures are impressive: 18,800 oaks were planted on the former farmland along the new bypass road by the end of 2015, along with hundreds of hornbeams, rose, elderberry and hazelnut bushes. A new wood will rise up in the coming years and decades on these 4.5 hectares. “This is way of bringing the land that was cut off by the current construction efforts back to nature,” explains Thomas Treffkorn, who is responsible among other things for all green and outdoor areas as working group leader for infrastructure services at IDT Biologika. “This forestation is a first for us in terms of size of the operation.”
Planting was executed by the experienced gardeners of the Stackelitz company, which won this contract through a public tender process. Given the dimension of the work, heavy machines were also used; around 90% of the native trees and bushes were planted using planters. Thomas Treffkorn also wanted to include youth from the partner schools: “The proposal to couple this project with a chance to get in touch with nature immediately found willing listeners in the Philanthropinum and its Director Dr. Zilm. And high school class 10c quickly volunteered,” he says enthusiastically.
On December 11, right after school was out, 14 students from the Dessau center were brought to the area to plant trees and bushes and build a protective fence. “We need the fence to protect the plants from deer and wild pigs, of which there are many here,” explains Kathrin Dimmer from Stackelitz. This expert was more than happy with her useful helpers: “This was a first for all the students, they all planted a tree for the first time. They worked very well after just a brief explanation. Of course we’ll check all the plants again, but it probably isn’t necessary.”
It was lots of fun. We did something good and got plenty of fresh air while we were at it.
These young people’s willingness to give up a Friday afternoon, in drizzling rain, cold wind and muddy ground, and to work hard with no complaints, is admirable. “It was lots of fun. We did something good and got plenty of fresh air while we were at it,” says Tim Mäbert of the experience. The 16-year-old from Rodleben, who had already gotten to know IDT Biologika at “Boy’s Day,” and his peers were presented with a small gift bag by Nancy Herrmann. “We want to send these young people off with a few small ideas, information about our apprenticeship and study opportunities and useful school aids,” says the Education Director.
The thoroughly forward-looking Friday afternoon of work well done ended with hot drinks and cookies. Perhaps some of these hardworking helpers will take walks through “their” woods in a few years – maybe even during their lunch break at IDT Biologika.