Activating Youth Leadership with GBL
With GBL’s support, SUGi and our local Forest Maker, Nicolas de Brabandère are growing the SUGi outdoor classroom movement in Belgium. Together, we are bringing the wisdom of ancient forests and the symbiotic benefits of biodiversity back, and sharing the benefits with hundreds of local children, families, and teachers. Our partnership has not only allowed us to provide the capstone of a grand 50-year community restoration project in Pontisse, Belgium, but our latest collaboration brings a SUGi Pocket Forest to central Brussels, near the vibrant, cultural hub that is the Tour and Taxis complex. Part of a major regeneration project, the development will create a new residential neighborhood and parkland in the centre of this
Tour & Taxis Forest
SUGi’s Tour & Taxis Forest will be situated in central Brussels, near the vibrant, cultural hub that is the Tour and Taxis complex. The area has a rich industrial history and played an integral part in the economic development of the city over the last 500 years. This SUGi Pocket Forest will support biodiversity in a highly urbanised area and create a corridor where wildlife can thrive. The density of the forest will help to reduce air pollution and allow local residents to breathe cleaner air. It will also provide a sheltered, shady space to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, offering some respite from busy, city life.
A forest learning center in Sint-Niklaas. The Ark is a primary school following the Freinet principle of ‘live learning’. Students will discover a vast living space full of wonderful creatures, stories, possibilities, communities, cozy corners and thrilling adventures.
By creating a bee-friendly forest we hope to create a landing space for pollinators.
Bee populations are diminishing rapidly and alarmingly. By creating a tiny forest of specific native trees that flower successionally, we can offer the bees an almost continual food source as well as their favoured trees for winter hibernation.
King Charlemagne Forest
Restoring ancestral forest in a dense village community. The creation of a Miyawaki forest, in Pontisse, Belgium, will be the last piece in a 50 year community project; a church, a school, a gymnasium, a public garden, a bicycle trail amongst other things!
The ‘Mandelwijk’ is a social housing project that went through a recent renovation. The city Council of Oudenburg has chosen SUGi to help further restore the community with a Miyawaki forest.
The planting of these forests is part of the implementation of the City Council’s ‘Boomplusplan’. With the Mandelwijk Forest we aim to improve our biodiversity, urban resilience and create a pleasant and healthy living environment.
Together with the schools of Oudenburg, we will plant forests to leave a sustainable world for future generations.
Unity Forest is an initiative by the horticultural department of the Institut Redouté Peiffer in Anderlecht, just outside of Brussels. 2,800 Sq m of open land will be transformed into a dense, biodiverse forest in collaboration with two other local schools: Lycée Soeur Emmanuelle & École Raymond Van Belle.
This initiative has created a sustainable legacy of four outdoor classrooms across Belgium: two in Flanders and two in Wallonia.
Through the planting of these SUGi Pocket Forests, schoolchildren have had the opportunity to learn about the importance of conservation, biodiversity, and ecosystems through interactive learning activities. With emphasis placed on the awareness of environmental issues and sustainable practices, the projects have offered education, nourishment, and inspiration.
This project, as a whole, has drawn an indelible connection between hundreds of students and Nature, supporting their wellness for many years to come.