Step 2: Nature

Planting and caring for young trees
There is no need to convince anyone about the beneficial impact of trees on the climate and human health. However, it is important to act responsibly so that the tree can develop properly. Choose a suitable place (e.g. not too close to the façade or road, so that the root system can grow freely), prepare the soil and water it properly, nourish and protect the tree during the first years of its growth. The Warsaw Greenery Department has even developed its own tree planting system in difficult urban conditions, such as traffic routes, allowing for better soil ventilation, which is described in nine steps. 
Treegators, i.e. perforated bags around trees, which allow the soil around the young tree to be slowly irrigated without excessive water evaporation, are very popular in urban parks.

Weronika Zalewska, Untitled (Good forest spirit, apart from his head on his neck,
has a palm for happiness), mixed media, 2021

The use of rainwater – rain gardens and retention basins 
One method of utilising the valuable rainwater and reducing the risk of flooding in urban areas is creating rain gardens i.e. retention tanks in a container or in the ground, which, through appropriately selected layers of plants and soil-sand mixtures, keep rainwater in the ground, additionally cleaning it. 
The Sendzimir Foundation provides a number of DIY instruction brochures on how to create a rain garden or a retention basin, i.e. a gentle depression in the terrain, where rainwater temporarily collects (up to two days).

Community gardens

Turning squares and courtyards into vegetable patches has a long tradition in Poland dating back to the WWII, when social workers helped residents start gardens in the courtyards of tenement houses. Currently, there are a few hundred community gardens in Poland and new ones are constantly created. A lot of cultural institutions and organisations decide to start vegetable gardens together with their audience. How to start such a garden? Useful information is provided e.g. by the Bujna Warszawa initiative [http://bujnawarszawa.pl/zakladanie/] or a publication by Wrocławska Rewitalizacja Sp. z .o.o. – Community Gardens. Good Practices Bank.

Urban hives

Bees can also be kept in cities and not only in gardens. Bee farms are increasingly present on the roofs of tenement houses, universities, offices, or even shopping centres. It is worth consulting an experienced beekeeper and choosing an appropriate site, queen bee of a gentle breed and swarming qualities to ensure the comfort of the bees and the safety of local residents. Read more.

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