When Virtuos Singapore gathered for the tree planting activity in August, one of our colleagues had jokingly likened it to planting trees in Minecraft. While it was obviously not the same, it put us into a joyous mood as we set off for the activity.
Our team in Singapore before setting out to plant trees
Our session was part of the OneMillionTrees movement helmed by the National Parks Board (NParks) in Singapore, which aims to restore nature back to the city-state over the next decade. As part of Virtuos’ environmental sustainability commitment, we sponsored 50 trees and had a hands-on experience in contributing to the greening of Singapore.
We had a safety briefing from volunteers from NParks
Before we started planting, the volunteers from NParks briefed us on safety precautions and tips on utilizing the shovel to make digging easier. While the demonstration looked easy, it was different once we put it into action.
Each of us planted a tree along the roads of Singapore
To plant a tree, we had to dig a hole that is deep enough for its roots to be completely covered within. After that, all we had to do was shift the tree over before covering the hole up. It was important for us to create a well-like shape while we’re at it, so that the water would flow downwards and be easily absorbed by the roots.
Our Virtuosi playing their part in nature restoration.
After going through the hard work of planting trees, the volunteers also taught us about the different species of trees that are native to Southeast Asia, including Peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra, and Singapore.
We also learnt a lot about our volunteers and their motivation for participating regularly in this movement. One of the volunteers in-charge was a retiree who loved plants, and he shared with us about how therapeutic it was to be immersed in nature.
We learnt small tidbits of information on the trees that we planted
Learning about the stories of those involved definitely made the tree planting activity even more meaningful, for it showed us how important an active community is in protecting the environment.
Before the activity ended, we were given a link to plot and name our trees – we can now check on their growth whenever we want!
Through the platform, we could plot the location of where we planted our tree, and give it a name
Despite aching all over, we went home with a newfound appreciation for nature. In an urban country where land development is constant, trees are crucial to the management of climate change. Not only does it serve as natural air filters, it also reflects radiant heat and help to mitigate the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. While the act of planting trees may not seem like much, playing our part in environmental protection increases our understanding of the surroundings. This encourages us to become more conscious about making eco-friendly decisions in our daily lives.
It was definitely nothing like planting trees in Minecraft – but better. We learnt so much about planting trees, and the meaningful purpose behind this initiative. And if you ever happen to be in the area 10 years later, please do give our trees a good pat!