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Inauguration of “Plant your tree!”

On Thursday 17 November, a large-scale cultural, ecological and social project designed by the Théâtre Spirale and supported by the DIP and DFEL was inaugurated in Parc Bertrand at an event attended by the authorities.

Un groupe d'enfants plante des arbres avec une troupe de théâtre

The challenge that the Théâtre Spirale has set itself is to bring together, over a period of six months, seven storytellers, three directors of seven Geneva-based troupes, dozens of gardeners, thousands of pupils and various audiences around a large-scale cultural, ecological and social project designed to poetically recreate the ties between the population and Mother Nature.

Celebrate the living and raise awareness about biodiversity

The “Plant your tree!” project designed by its Director, Patrick Mohr, in collaboration with the Parks and Gardens Service of the City of Geneva (SEVE), aims to celebrate the living and raise awareness about biodiversity through a vast activities programme combining the living word, creation and plantation, culture and arboriculture, science and poetry.

Project inauguration

The project was inaugurated on Thursday 17 November in Parc Bertrand with a symbolic ceremony and tales together with a class from the Peschier School on the occasion of the planting of large white willows, attended by Ms Anne Emery-Torracinta, State Councillor responsible for the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth (DIP) of the State of Geneva, Mr Alfonso Gomez, Executive Councillor responsible for the Department of Finance, Housing and the Environment (DFEL) of the City of Geneva and Mr Patrick Mohr.

Humans as an integral part of nature

“Our aim is to encourage people to think about the ties that exist between humans and trees and to reposition humans as an integral part of nature and not as a separate species from the rest of the living world,” explains Patrick Mohr. This project allows us to take action in the field and to get our hands dirty with our heads in the clouds, using words like a seed to be sown in the minds of the participants.

Links between school and the city

The objectives of public education are to promote the cultural and natural heritage of the Canton of Geneva, raise awareness about sustainability and create ties between school and the city. All these stakeholders are brought together in a single project, which is why the DIP, and in particular its teaching staff, are strongly committed to participating by organising the visit of artists and involving the pupils in the “living workshops” on the different topics explored in the shows. According to State Councillor Anne Emery-Torracinta, “This experience makes the pupils aware of the need to take care of the living with poetry and intelligence. It also enables them to play an active role in city life, an objective which is particularly important to me.”

Dialogue between artists and the professionals of the City’s Parks and Gardens Service

The SEVE plays a key role in the project, in particular by incorporating it into its planting calendar. The different tales, including “L’Orme de la place de la Taconnerie”, “Le noyau de datte”, “L’homme qui plantait des arbres” by Jean Giono or “Le figuier magique” have been the subject of discussion between the artists and the professionals of the SEVE in the field concerning the matter of plantations and the care provided for trees in an urban environment.

The importance of planting trees within the territory

This project aims to celebrate the role of trees in the city and to recreate the ties between the living and Mother Nature in order to encourage the population to become an actor of biodiversity, notes Mr Alfonso Gomez, Executive Councillor responsible for the DFEL. Trees play a pivotal role in adapting our neighbourhoods to global warming. Raising public awareness, first and foremost among children, with regard to the importance of intensifying the programme of planting trees within the territory is essential.

First section of the “Plant your tree!” project

Enjoying financial support from the Ecole&Culture programme of the DIP and from the Agenda 21 – Sustainable City Service of the DFEL, the first section of the “Plant your tree!” project includes 30 school performances focussing on newly planted trees, together with some 90 performance and 120 living workshops in the schools in and around Geneva. Mediation work, in collaboration with a number of different partner associations, will help involve other audiences, in particular senior citizens, migrants and handicapped people.

This first sequence will be brought to a close by a “Grande Fête des racines” (festival of the roots) at the Théâtre de la Parfumerie, open to all, which will bring together all the stakeholders across two weekends of celebration, gatherings and sharing, from 17 to 19 March 2023 and from 24 to 26 March 2023.

Shows, concerts, workshops, a magical trees installation dreamed up by the children and the “Marathons de la Parole verte” (green words marathons) will give voice to the amateur and professional storytellers as well as specialists – botanists, forestry engineers, gardeners, instrument makers and woodcutters – who will take it in turn to talk about their relationship with trees and the environment.

This project was awarded the “Coup de cœur du jury” prize at the Nature en Ville competition.

More information

For additional information: Théâtre Spirale: Plante ton arbre! website

Media contacts

  • Pierre-Antoine Preti, Deputy Secretary General responsible for Communication (DIP), +41 22 546 69 68, +41 79 754 25 90, @email
  • Anna Vaucher, Personal Assistant responsible for Communication (DFEL), +41 78 760 97 97,
  • Patrick Mohr, Co-Director of the Théâtre Spirale, +41 79 924 48 53, @email 

Article modifié le 22.11.2022 à 08:44