TREE OF THE YEAR
Trees are beautiful and have been a symbol of life since prehistoric times. The trees supplied people with food, protection and even with immortality. Many nations believe that the souls of their dead rise through the branches of tall trees on their way to heaven. Trees are organic part of the landscape and therefore they deserve our respect and admiration. They require tender care to grow. Unfortunately they are more and more frequently victims of human activities, despite the fact that a landscape without trees is really sad.
The Tree of the Year competition was launched and implemented by the Environmental Partnership Foundation and promoted by Europa FM in the period of 2010-2012. Our Media Partner was the Think Outside the Box. Through this competition we intended to draw attention to the importance of trees specifically, and to the need to protect the environment, in general. Applicants could apply to the contest with stories of trees that were important to the community, rare or mystic trees, known as symbols of the community. The main selection criterion was the story of the nominated tree.
The 3,000 RON award offered by the Environmental Partnership Foundation could be used for tree maintenance, to rehabilitate or create a green space or for the planting of seedlings.
The program was very successful. In these two years we’ve received 114 applications and for the finalist trees we’ve received 139,758 votes. The program’s site has been viewed more than 256,000 times by 185,000 visitors. There were more than 750 news publications in local, county and national media, and dozens of interviews on radio, television, etc. There were published two books including photos and stories of the winner trees, of those who have reached the finals and the campaigns descriptions for the first two places. In the 2011 book we also introduced a sad story - sent by an applicant - about the close relationship between humans and trees, which deeply impressed us.
The country trees winners were present at the European competition - Tree of the Year in Europe - where, in 2011 the Lime tree from Leliceni won the first prize and in 2012, the Elm tree from Căpeni won the second prize. Awarding ceremony took place in Brussels, at the headquarter of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).