The seedlings partially covered with snow.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who have been continuously supporting the OISCA project through Global Giving since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and at the same time, to report on the latest situation at the project site.
In Japan, we are now in the winter season, and snow is piling up in the disaster-hit area. Despite the snow, the 130,000 black pine trees planted at the project site are steadily growing. We can see some of the seedlings planted in 2014 have grown over 1 meter in height. At the nursery, 130,000 new seedlings are enduring the cold weather eagerly waiting for spring. Various animals which disappeared after the disaster are now returning. On the snow, we see the footprints of animals such as cats, raccoon dogs and birds. On the surface, we have the impression that under the extreme weather condition, it is difficult for the planted seedlings to grow. But when we observed closely, we noticed that they are growing steadily.
March 11, 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the disaster. The disaster-affected local people have all different feelings and perceptions. It is unfortunate that the farther the distance from the disaster-hit area, we find that the memories have been weakening and that the number of those who are forgetting is growing. Against this backdrop, we have to seriously think about, not only making the project successful, but as to how we can preserve the memories of the disaster, how we can best manage the forest after completing tree planting and how to inform the public of the importance of the coastal forest.
The disaster-hit local farmers involved in the project are working hard with the strong belief that restoring the coastal forest is not for them but for their children and grand children. The local people who are directly involved with the project expect that the planted black pine seedlings will grow and will serve as natural protection against strong winds, salt damage and blown sand from the sea coast.
We, on our part, also intend to involve the locals of Natori City in implementing the project so that they will feel like they are managing it by themselves.
Thank you again for your generous support and I am hoping for your continued cooperation.
Locals of Natori City visiting the project nursery
Footprints of birds in the planting site.