OneTreePlanted Visit in Canada/USA 2018 - NIKIN EU

OneTreePlanted Visit in Canada/USA 2018

4 guys, 7 days, 2 countries, 1000 impressions. In the summer of 2018, NIKIN traveled overseas to meet Matt Hill, the founder of his tree planting partner One Tree Planted. Experience the tree planting trip through Canada and the USA up close here.

Day 1: 5. August 2018

Lenzburg train station, 8.31 p.m. The train to Zurich airport departs and the adventure begins. The three boys, Nicholas, Robin and Jeffrey, make their way to Canada, where they will visit the founder of their tree planting partner, Matt Hill, and get hands-on and plant trees together with One Tree Planted. Florian, the passionate photographer and videographer, will document NIKIN's entire trip.

Zurich Airport, 12.50 p.m. With a lot of luck and thanks to the extremely friendly crew, the four boys manage to get on the plane despite an overbooked flight and only one standby ticket and take off overseas on time. Around eight hours later they landed safely on the other side of the pond, in the Canadian city of Montreal.

Downtown Montreal, 5 p.m. After moving into the very centrally located Airbnb, the four set off to get a first impression of the French-influenced metropolis in the province of Quebec. They also use the time to prepare for the upcoming meeting with One Tree Planted and to put together the interview topics for the next morning.

Our apartment, 11 p.m. After an intensive tour of discovery and a cozy dinner in a local brasserie, the boys find themselves in their apartment, where they settle in for their first night in the “Great White North” and soon fall asleep with great anticipation for the days to come.

Day 2: 6. August 2018

Our apartment, 7.7am. Wake up, despite jet lag and the loudly humming fan, the boys wake up feeling pretty refreshed and fit for the upcoming meeting with Matt in the One Tree Planted office, which is supposed to take place not far from the apartment. A typical North American breakfast with bagels, donuts and coffee provides the final refreshment before the boys are welcomed into the office by Stephanie and Beth, two extremely friendly employees from One Tree Planted.

One Tree Planted Head Office, 10am. Shortly afterwards we make our first personal acquaintance with the founder of One Tree Planted, with whom we are in constant contact but have never met. With a tanned complexion, wearing flip-flops and a three-day beard, the stocky, half-Jamaican man greets us and then shows us through their offices. One Tree Planted is rented in a huge office that is home to many other young start-up companies that share the common space. The coffee we drink is free in the shared cafeteria, where we meet and discuss things with people from other companies.

Meeting room, 10.3 p.m. We sat down at the large table in one of the several shared meeting rooms. Florian installed his camera equipment and equipped Matt with the appropriate microphone. The conversation with Matt, led by Nicholas and Robin, begins. Free of the liver, Matt talks about various topics, such as his personal motivation to plant trees, its financing, the last tree planting campaigns and future projects. The atmosphere is very relaxed and we learn a lot from the conversation with Beth and Stephanie, the ecosystem and project managers at One Tree Planted.

Downtown Montreal, 5 p.m. After a second interview with Matt in the afternoon, the successful meeting with One Tree Planted is soon coming to an end. Matt then recommends a few places in the city to end the day comfortably. We do this in a Mexican restaurant and then return soon to recharge our batteries for the adventurous next day.

OneTreePlanted und NIKIN

Day 3: 7. August 2018

Pedestal in front of our Airbnb, 8.31 p.m. It is drizzling slightly, a real cooling effect after the extremely humid and warm previous day. A white SUV with the inscription “Centre de la Nature – Mont Saint-Hilaire” drives up and a young woman with frizzy blonde hair and a green shirt, who introduces herself as Genevieve, gets out. Although she has lived in Montreal all her life, she has never driven through the hectic downtown during rush hour. We drive off, the qualified biologist tells us a few things about herself, we tell her about our project and she explains what's on the program today.

McGill Institute at the foot of Mont Saint-Hilaires, 9.30 p.m. After a one-hour drive from the city, we arrive at the institute where Genevieve works and get to know her team, her concept and her projects. Mont Saint-Hilaire is a forested hill north of Montreal. But locals proudly say it is a mountain because there is nothing around it but miles of flat forest and agricultural areas. On and around the mountain , this organization has been implementing renaturalization projects for several years by dismantling man-made roads, buildings, and agriculture and planting trees there instead, thus returning the land to nature. Among other things, we see large areas that are littered with seedlings financed by One Tree Planted and are carefully cared for until they grow into independent trees. A little further away, we walk along densely wooded paths that looked completely different just a few years ago and which, with the help of many volunteers, such as school classes or scouts, were planted with regional tree species and made wild again.

Pedestal in front of our apartment, 5 p.m. After an eventful day and many great impressions and conversations, Genevieve invites us back home and we thank you for her detailed and friendly tour of the Center de la Nature's projects and locations and say goodbye at the same place where the second day NIKIN started in Canada.

Genevieve in Montreal

Day 4: 8. August 2018

Mont Royal, 11 a.m. Thick clouds hang over the Montreal sky as we reach the observation deck of the local city mountain on our “day off”. A fantastic view over the rooftops of Montreal, the harbor and the dense forests surrounding the island on which the city is built provide the perfect backdrop to shoot great shots for our trip documentary. Later we lose ourselves in the lively streets of Montreal and find ourselves in a café, where we discuss the rest of the program at the next destination on our trip and then end our last evening in Canada comfortably.

Day 5: 9. August 2018

Montreal Bus Station, 8 a.m. Our luggage stowed away, we take a seat in the Greyhound bus in which we head south and, after about a three-hour drive and crossing the Canadian-American border, we reach the city of Burlington in the state of Vermont. We then pick up the rental car and continue our trip from now on.

Interval Center, 3 p.m. After lunch in this typically rural town, we reach the non-profit organization east of Burlington, which is supported by One Tree Planted, among others. Chelsea and Mike lead us through the area, which was originally inhabited by indigenous people, which was later besieged as a regional landfill and was only restored to nature around 30 years ago and is now considered one of the most fertile landscapes in the USA. We collect a lot of impressions and visit several greenhouses and plantations where the young seedlings are raised, which are then transplanted by various other partner organizations throughout the country. Since 2008, Mike, Intervale Conservation Nursery Manager, and his team of 25 have planted around 700,000 trees. There is no doubt about his enthusiasm and love for nature from talking to him.

Mike von Intervale

After this detailed tour, we move on to the “SummerVale”, which was realized through donations, on the wonderfully green area of ​​the Intervale Conservation Nursery, where local families meet with local food and local music and spend the summer evening together under the twilight sky Enjoy the outdoors.

Day 6: 10. August 2018

Motel in Burlington, 7.30 p.m. After a restful night and a typical American breakfast of cornflakes, pancakes and bagels with cream cheese, we set off at sunrise towards Barnet, a small town in eastern Vermont, where we met Ron from the Connecticut River Conservancy, another partner organization of One Tree Planted and Intervale have been arranged.

Banks of the Stevens River in Barnet, 10am. A huge memorial statue commemorating soldiers who died in the Vietnam War sits on Barnet's village green, where Ron, a former gardener, welcomes us and explains today's program. He tells us what needs to be considered when planting and what important benefits this brings.

We meet LJ, a Barnet resident who volunteers her land, which offers direct access to the city river. During floods, the river suffers extremely from severe erosion, which causes major damage to the landscape and thus fatal consequences for flora and fauna. Planting the river bank with local trees and bushes counteracts this effect, because the roots of the plants give the bank better support and additionally create a habitat for animals, which has a long-term positive effect on flora and fauna.

Nicholas Baum pflanzen

Highway, 1 p.m. The last official program point of our trip is now behind us and we are on the way to the place where we will end the One Tree Planted visit adventure, to Boston. Rocky mountain peaks, endless densely forested hills, idyllic lakes and rivers. This is enough to describe the wonderful scenery that surrounds us during the several-hour drive south. The area is not called the Green Mountain State for nothing. Nothing but pure nature. Beautiful.

We will soon cross the border between Vermont and New Hampshire, where we will make stops at breathtaking places such as Beaver Pond and Hermit Lake. The pictures on the internet do not come close to reflecting the beauty of these places.

In a river, which we follow on winding country roads, we take a cooling bath and enjoy the afternoon summer sun. The atmosphere when stopping at a real trucker restaurant couldn't be more authentic. Our Hyundai looks like a mouse among elephants among the gigantic American trucks. We move on and gradually approach the capital of the state of Massachusetts.

Beacon Hill, Boston, 10 p.m. Shortly after sunset, the shimmering lights of the skyscrapers of Boston's skyline appear in the distance, rising into the night sky. We reach our hotel in the very English district and let ourselves be drawn into the nightlife of the world-famous student city.

Day 7: 11. August 2018

Downtown Boston, 11 a.m. Rain. Drizzle, drizzle, sometimes in torrents, today it only rains once. We settle down in a café and who knows what we want to do in this weather.

Cinema in America, a real experience! Six hours and three films later (it's still raining outside), we find ourselves in a sports bar, where we have the last supper of our trip with live baseball on the TV, American 80s hits and students playing pool.

Day 8: 12. August

Boston Airport, 12 p.m. The suitcases are packed, the reading material is taken care of and the cell phone is set to flight mode. The “Grüezi” when boarding the plane gives us a feeling of home that makes us look forward to coming home.

Home, 11am. It's simply unbelievable what we've experienced in this short week. We finally got to know our partners personally and formed real friendships. We traveled and discovered great cities, drove through beautiful landscapes and actively helped give something back to Mother Nature. On our journey through North America, we also grew closer as a team and refreshed our spirits with many new impressions and encounters with people from all over the world. Looking forward, we are really looking forward to further adventures and a great future with NIKIN.

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