Back to Play Forests

Restoring resilience after the blast.

Miyawaki Method
Pocket Forest

Following the horrific August 4 2020 blast, the city of Beirut was left devastated. We want to plant micro Miyawaki forests as part of the rehabilitation of school playgrounds.

This will help heal the community through the physical act of planting, educating the students on the different native species, and exposing them to forest ecosystems in the context of highly urbanized Beirut. These forests will not only contribute to the restoration of the schools, but also to a great city still in dire need of regeneration.

We will be starting with three schools that have been heavily impacted by the blast, in collaboration with the “Let’s Play” initiative.

Forest Maker Adib Dada








“Combining nature and play is a crucial step for healing from the trauma of the blast.”

Adib Dada, founder theOtherDada


Site 1/3

Ecole Secondaire des Filles de la Charité - Achrafieh

The site of Back to Play Forest at Ecole Secondaire des Filles de la Charité - Achrafieh
The pocket forest after 11 months growth

Forest Report: 11 Months

DATE: 02.11.2022

Survival Rate: 80%

Average of Tallest 3 Trees: 170 cm

This forest was replanted at 5 months old in December 2021. It was struggling following poor maintenance due to the COVID-19 pandemic & school closures in Beirut. Since then, the school has taken great care of the forest and the current survival rate reflects this. Wild pistachio (Pistacia terebinthus) is currently the tallest species, followed closely by spanish broom (Spartium junceum) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna).

Located in the centre of the school playground, this forest has 1500 students interacting with it daily, not only enjoying this greenery but also learning about how the smallest pocket of nature can thrive even in the most highly urbanised location.

The pocket forest after 11 months growth

Forest Report: Planting

DATE: 02.11.2021

Site 2/3

Armenian Evangelical Central High School

The site of Back to Play Forest at the Armenian Evangelical Central High School
The pocket forest after 19 months growth

Forest Report: 19 Months

DATE: 17.02.2022

The pocket forest after 19 months growth

Forest Report: 1 Year

DATE: 23.11.2022

Survival Rate: 99%

Average of tallest 3 trees: 350 cm

At 1 year old, this pocket forest is thriving. A 99% survival rate is excellent and an important example of what can be achieved on small plots, even in the most ‘concrete’ of settings.

This forest has really transformed this area of the school and is a joy for the student community. Indeed, the good relationship with the school has contributed to the success of the forest as students have taken on the responsibility of keeping an eye on it, along with the school gardener.

For the one year anniversary, there was a science day with activities centered around the forest with the science classes of grades 5 and up. It is truly an enriching resource for the school.

The judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum) is the tallest species currently, with the almond (Prunus dulcis) and fig tree (Ficus carica) also both over 2.5m.

The chasteberry tree is flowering (Vitex agnus-castus), a plant regarded as being beneficial to hormone health. In addition, some unidentified wild mushrooms have also been seen in the forest, an indication of good soil health. These have caused great excitement amongst the students.

The pocket forest after 1 year growth
Unidentified wild mushrooms & Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Judas tree (Cercis siliquastrum), Almond (Prunus dulcis) and Fig tree (Ficus carica)

Forest Report: 6 Months

DATE: 23.07.2022

The pocket forest after 6 months growth

Forest Report: Planting

DATE: 23.11.2021

Site 3/3

Zahret Al-Ihsan School

The site of Back to Play Forest at the Zahret Al-Ihsan School in Beirut, Lebanon
The pocket forest after 12 months growth

Forest Report: 12 Months

DATE: 10.06.2023

Forest Report: Planting

DATE: 10.06.2022

Discover more SUGi Projects


De Ark

A forest learning center in Sint-Niklaas

South Africa

Langalibalele Forest

Cultivating a green oasis for community wellness and education.

South Africa
Miyawaki Method

Papenhof Forest

Nature-based therapy at the heart of a city

Pocket Forest