Drawing the East and the West together with Elm Alleys

lorbergconnectReprinted from the newspaper “The Word of Jurmala”, No. 23 (109), 18.06.2015

2337 kilometers – 200 elms – 12 days – 6 countries

A team of four cyclists gathered by German entrepreneur Stefan Lorberg started a trip form the Branderburg Gate in Berlin to St. Petersburg on May 30, 2015. The action “Lorberg Trees-Connect” ended on June 10 in St. Petersburg, just in time for the 52nd World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects.

The project “Trees Connect” is an invitation to overcome the borders between the mind and the heart, between the West and the East. During the unequivocal current political events in Europe the Lorberg tree nursery wants to make a statement in favour of peace and a united Europe.

The team of the cyclists made 2350 km long route from Berlin to Petersburg in 12 days. During the ride Resista elms with a uniqe resistance against the “Dutch Elm Disease” were planted. Tree saplings were sponsored by “Lorberg” company. 200 trees were planted in several locations along the stretch from Berlin to St. Petersburg. The action was coordinated with the related municipalities.

The trees planted in different European countries symbolize the unity between the East and the West. The estimated price of the 4-5 m high tree saplings is around 300-400 Euros. The saplings were led in a special lorry which went in front of cyclists so that the trees were planted before the arrival of the group of cyclists as the planting of saplings is technically complicated and lengthy process.

The Lorberg group of cyclists crossed the Latvia, riding more than 500 km. The project was also supported by the Latvian cyclists.

Renars from Latvian company “Velokurjers” kindly welcomed the Loberg team at the border of Latvia and accompanied the group for some hours. In the evening, when the riders reached Kuldīga, they were greeted with a dinner and live music.

The next day the Lorberg group met with representatives of Kuldīgas cycling club. Ten its members joined the Loberg team and set out to Riga.

The Lorberg group planted ten tress also in Kemeri creating a small avenue from the curative string “Lizard” to the Water tower in collaboration with the Latvian company Ltd “Ķikši”.

In the evening, when the group reached Riga, they were met by cycle courier Maris Jonovs who showed the guests capital and offered local dishes. The members of the Loberg group recorded 150 local cyclists meeting for a nightride through the city of Riga.

The next morning the team together with representatives from Ltd “Velokurjers” and Vairis Jankovskis from Ltd “Kiksi” cycled towards Sigulda on the highway. The group reached Sigulda ahead of schedule and went for a ride with local children. After lunch some riders from Latvia went to their home town, but others accompanied the team to the Estonian- Lavian border in Valga.

Overall the Lorberg team highly rated the support of Latvian Cyclists’ Association and Ltd “Velokurjers”.

On June 10 the group of athletes arrived in St. Petersburg. The last tree plants indicating the final of the action “Trees Connect” were planted at the end of the Congress.