We don't just talk in Porto, we dig holes and plant trees

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Filipa Brito

The objective of the FUTURO project was to plant more than 100 thousand trees in Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP) by 2021. That goal has already been fulfilled due to the strong commitment of all the municipalities in the Metropolitan Area of Porto.

This project kicked off in 2011, with 106 thousand native trees planted in urban spaces, encompassing 174 acres of land, enabling city dwellers to really benefit from these green organisms that have been taking care of us and of our planet for ages.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide, they produce oxygen and provide a colourful urban landscape, in more than one way as they boost mental wellbeing and clean the air we breathe.

Seventeen municipalities of AMP have participated, engaging around 16 thousand volunteers who have contributed to reforestation and environmental sustainability, "eight years and 100 thousand trees later".

This project, FUTURO, which was awarded several international and national prizes, will move to the next phase, as "our focus is not solely the number of trees we can plant, but rather the areas and the acres we can plant", stated the Coordinator of the Environment Studies Group of the Catholic University, Marta Pinto to News Agency Lusa, adding that actions include the withdrawal of eucalyptus plantations as well as the eradication of invasive species, and brush management as well.

Also, the FUN Porto project will continue, regarding the Native Urban Forests in Porto. This project was initiated in 2015, and Porto City Hall promotes the expansion of these trees in Porto in order to establish a robust green infrastructure in the city.

We refer to the Biospots Porto Network, consisting of the plantation of native forest trees and shrubs. The target is to plant 10 thousand trees till 2021. As of October, more than 1300 thousand trees had already been planted.

Besides the Biospots project, Porto City Hall has also organised the initiative "If you have a garden, we have a tree for you". The Municipality gifts trees and bushes to all residents or companies headquartered in Porto District that own a garden or a yard. More than 5700 trees have already been gifted in the three previous editions.

The Municipal Nursery is also part of FUN Porto, which is in charge of providing native trees and plants since 2014 to the FUTURO Project.

It is worth mentioning that the Trees of Porto Route programme is aimed at disseminating the importance of the natural and green resources of the city of Porto, by visiting farms, green areas and historic gardens.

FUN Porto is also part of the Porto Biolab, located at Quinta de Salgueiros (next to Antas) which provides ecological services regarding specific information in the areas of biology, landscape architects and gardeners, sociologists, geographers and many more.

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

- Chinese proverb