Activist group secretly plants 500 trees in Antwerp at night
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    Activist group secretly plants 500 trees in Antwerp at night

    Over a period of two weeks, the Phantom Tree Company planted 500 trees on a two hectare stretch. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    Hundreds of trees have been secretly planted overnight in Antwerp by an environmental action group called The Phantom Tree Company.

    Operating under the motto “stop talking about global warming and do something,” the group targets vacant properties without the accord of their proprietors.

    Over a period of two weeks, the group planted 500 trees in vacant lots in Puurs-Sint-Amands, across a 2-hectare stretch of land in the province of Antwerp.

    “We plant trees at nights on wastelands owned by governments and inter-municipal companies without their permission,” an anonymous group member told said, VRT reports.

    “It’s land that has not been used for years, except for mowing the grass once a year,” the activist said, adding that the group had also planted trees in other areas, such as along the A12 highway or on areas near the town of Boom.

    The group said that they worked with local beekeepers to plant trees that benefit bee populations, and that they also took biodiversity into account, planting native species like elms and willows.

    Local authorities reacted positively the Phantom Tree Company’s initiative, saying they welcomed people “giving an extra hand in planting trees.”

    A communications officer with the municipality said that Puurs-Sint-Amands was planning on planting 50,000 trees in the next six years.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times