As a result of the city of Rzeszów development policy, recently we have been observing an increase in tree cutting. Monitoring, sending comments, or becoming involved in the decision making is a multi-stage process, rather complicated, and made even more difficult by the City Hall and its institutions. That discourages many to participate. Through our observations and communication with the citizens we have concluded that people lack the knowledge on how to react to the devastation of green spaces. They feel powerless and excluded from the administrative process, which makes them unhappy and causes conflicts.
We would like to address these issues by creating an institution we would call the Tree Guard. We will hire and train an individual who, alongside our volunteers, will support the citizens in their efforts to stop the tree cutting. These interventions will be catalogued through protocols in our “Guard’s logbook.” We have worked on these types on interventions for several years now, but having local community involved will increase our effectiveness. Additionally, it will increase the sense of having agency among the members of the local community.
In order for our initiative to be as comprehensive as possible, we will create a website that will serve as a source of knowledge on the scale of the problem in Rzeszów and on current initiatives being implemented on behalf of the community. The website will also contain a toolkit for taking action available for anyone interested in getting involved. As a result of our actions, the analysis of tree cutting in Rzeszów will be more accurate than ever before, and the citizens will play an active part in the effort. We will make the archives of our project available to the public as well.