A Forest from the ashes

The fires that ravaged the slopes of Monte Pisano between September 2018 and February 2019, in terms of impact and intensity, destroyed over 1,200 hectares of forest, with harsh effects not only on vegetation but also on local communities. In addition to the environmental damage, these events disrupted the daily lives of those who live in and inhabit the area, altering the landscape and habitat, forcing the local population to reconsider the foundations of their economy and culture and to reckon with a common denominator that is becoming increasingly frequent: climate change.

“A Forest from the ashes” is a project promoted by the Alberitalia Foundation in collaboration with the Community of the Woods of Monte Pisano ETS. Its aim is to restore the vegetative cover of one of the areas damaged in 2018 by planting native tree and shrub species to reduce the risk of future fires. This is achieved through the design of a dedicated plantation, taking into account the nature of the species used. The Santa Caterina area was chosen for this restoration activity, owned by the Community of the Woods of Monte Pisano ETS, and the interventions are being carried out and will be executed in full respect of the naturalness and biodiversity of the area, ensuring a homogeneous and organic result that is as functional as possible to the long-term goals of enhancing the territory and activities for the communities that inhabit it.

The event

On Sunday, February 18, 2024, the Santa Caterina area saw a large group of volunteers at work, spending the morning planting holm oak, cork oak, mastic, and strawberry trees. They were guided and supervised by Riccardo Bandecchi – member of the Olive Commission of the Community of the Woods ETS, Andrea Bandecchi – representative of Podere del Pari, and Matteo Belpinati – local expert. This activity followed an initial planting intervention of over 450 plants carried out by the company “Podere del Pari,” which took charge of the activity and will complete the work with the additional 900 plants planned by the project.

“The significant presence of private individuals and volunteers in an initiative of this kind further emphasizes how the rebirth of Monte Pisano is a goal that is close to the hearts of all those who live, even indirectly, in the local area, and to those who hope that this area can shine brightly again as soon as possible. Our thanks go to them for demonstrating willingness and commitment primarily through their presence, and also to the sponsors, who immediately understood the importance of a project that can benefit the entire community in various ways,” commented Maurizio Meucci, President of the Community of the Woods of Monte Pisano.

Partner and sponsor

he fundraising project was carried out on the Produzioni dal Basso platform and is a collaboration between the AlberItalia Foundation, DAGRI (University of Florence), and the Community of the Woods of Monte Pisano ETS. It was selected through the “Impatto+” call for proposals by Banca Etica, which committed to covering the remaining 25% of the investment upon reaching 75% of the target amount. Special thanks were extended to the main sponsor Stihl, as well as Timesis, PFM srl Professional Association, Spes, and Banca Popolare di Lajatico.