(Mountain Forest Project)
Artist residency in the Swiss Alps for the Bergwaldprojekt foundation. Located above the municipality of Elm in the Canton of Glarus, I documented the practical forest work that was carried out by volunteers in summer 2020. Having done this forest work multiple times myself before, I know how demanding (and rewarding!) it is to work on steep slopes and in shady woods.
Having been assigned to make reportage drawings this time was an honour – and a heartfelt wish.
Purpose of the foundation
The foundation has a non-profit purpose: to promote the maintenance, care and protection of the forest and the cultural landscape in mountain regions, especially through care and restoration during work assignments and by encouraging the public’s understanding for the forest’s concerns.
Instead of being debated about, the forest should be experienced in the forest. Through practical forest work, the participants get to know firsthand the habitat of the mountain forest as well as its chances and problems. The work is done in close co-operation with the local forestry services. Volunteers between 18 and 88 years of age thereby actively contribute to the care of the protection forest.
Purpose of the work assignments
Through tangible work, the participants experience the fascinating ecosystem of the mountain forest with all their senses. The importance of the protection forest and the measures for its care are experienced directly. Assignment participation allows meaningful action for the environment and shows the inter-relationships in the mountain forest habitat. This contributes to the development of an ecological awareness and responsiveness to the forest’s concerns.
Participation is free of charge for volunteers. The Bergwaldprojekt covers accommodation, meals and project management. It is mainly financed by member fees and donations. In addition, it is supported by various organisations and institutions.