Tree Planting Event 2011 FAQ

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plant a forest with sunbeams

20 March 2011


What is Sunbeams?

Sunbeams is a non-profit organization focused on bringing expatriates and Belgians together on nature and the environment. We are an international group of enthusiastic volunteers that provide practical-oriented information on an eco-friendly lifestyle in Belgium. We write articles, make presentations, conduct workshops and organize events. Please visit our website for more information.

What is VBV?

VBV stands for Vereniging voor Bos in Vlaanderen (forest association of Flanders). VBV works with Belgian authorities, schools, organizations, companies and private persons to plant forests in Belgium. They take care of the permission to turn a plot of land into a forest, prepare the ground and work with local forest rangers to select the appropriate species to be planted. They do a lot of activities on trees, publish a magazine and are very active in the UN Billion Tree Campaign.

What is the UNEP Billion Tree Campaign?

On 8 November 2006, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the new campaign ‘Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign’ which encourages all sectors of society to plant at least one billion trees worldwide each year. In a call to further action, the UNEP set a new goal of planting seven billion trees by the end of 2009. Every individual or organization is encouraged to register their pledges and planted trees online while ensuring that the trees planted are indigenous and appropriate for the local environment.

Where can I find more information on the Billion Tree Campaign?

The UNEP has created a wonderful website that can provide you with further information regarding the campaign. This website is:

How do I register my pledges and trees for the Bilion Tree Campaign?

You don’t need to worry about registering your trees. Sunbeams and VBV will register all of the pledges and trees on your behalf. This way we can insure that every tree is counted, but not counted twice.

How much does it cost to plant a tree?

The cost to plant one indigenous tree is 5 euros. This price not only covers the tree, but includes the organization of the event, the land preparation including pre-dug holes, the tools needed to plant the tree(s), a biodegradable ribbon upon which to write your own ‘special message’ and a sticker identifying your participation and commitment to the environment. You will receive your sticker and ribbon(s) the day of the event.

A contribution from the five euros will also be given to a Congolese Roots and Shoots youth group, run under the auspices of The Jane Goodall Institute.  This group aims to plant a green corridor connecting two forests in their region.  The corridor will provide food and shelter for animals migrating from one forest to the other.  Local adults will be trained by the Jane Goodall Institute to protect the area.

Does all the money raised go to planting trees at this event?

While there will be no profit or fee for Sunbeams, VBV or the UNEP, a contribution of the money collected will be sent to a Roots and Shoots youth group in the Congo, to help them plant trees in their country.  All of the money raised does go towards planting trees – globally!

Can I donate without attending the event on March 20th?

Yes. You do not have to be present at the event to ‘plant a tree’ however; we do encourage everyone that is interested to join us that day.

Can we contact Sunbeams for fundraising ideas for our school/organisation?

Yes you can! If you have need for further assistance, please feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to help.

What is the deadline for receiving pledges and the money transfer?

The deadline for advance registrations is Friday 18 March 2011. However you can still come along to event and buy a tree on the spot.
We willl be planting extra trees and can still assign one to you even after the event.

If you wish to plant a large number of trees to let us This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it as possible, so that we can assign a designated plot.

Can I just come on the day?

Yes you can just turn up and pay cash as we will have plenty of spare trees. However we would much prefer if you register first to ensure the smooth operation of the event.

How is the money collected?

We ask that schools or organisations participating in the tree palnting have a designated person or system in place to collect the money for the entire group. Once all pledges have been received, we kindly ask that you send us one amount on behalf of the entire group.

What is the Sunbeams account number?

Our account is with Triodos bank:  523-0803235-53. Please clearly mention the Tree Planting Event AND full name of your school when you do the transfer.

What if someone is uncomfortable with giving cash or is giving a larger donation?

We then ask that they contact us directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We can then give them the information necessary to make their own deposit.

Are there age restrictions to planting a tree?

Anyone over the age of 5 years is welcome to plant their own tree after a short demonstration on the appropriate way to do it. After the event a park ranger will then ‘double check’ all of the planted trees.

Will you provide education materials or a presentation prior to the event?

As a prize to the first 10 organisations that commit to participate at the event, we, along with VBV, will come and put on an educational and funny presentation on the types of trees that will be planted as well as their importance to the environment. IIf you are among the first to commit, you will be notified as soon as possible and we will give presentations in the week of February 14th – 18th.

Where is the forest going to be planted?

This year’s forest will be planted in Gooik, approximately 30km west of Brussels. Click here to see the exact location of plot.
Parking is limited at the site (Frankrijkstraat 10) so we suggest you park in Kerplein, 1755 Gooik, which is a 5 minute walk from the site. Signs will show you exactly where to go.

Is transportation to and from the event provided?

We are working on the logistics of transportation. As we get closer to the event, we will be able to provide you with more information.

How was this location chosen?

This location was arranged through our partner VBV.

How will the forest be utilized?

There is a hiking trail that runs directly next to the pllt of land that will be planted, so you will be able to check on your trees whenever you would like.

What do we need to bring to the event?

All of the tools needed to plant your tree(s) will be provided for you. You just need to wear comfortable and appropriate outdoor clothing suitable for getting a little dirty. Wellington boots are recommended.

Will food be provided?

Food will not be provided at the event. We are currently in the process of meeting with different vendors to see if they would be interested in selling different food items, but for now, we recommend that you bring your own picnic to enjoy under your tree.

How will we know where to plant our trees?

The plot of land will be divided into sections and identified by school &/or organization. We will have volunteers present to direct you.

Will the particpants be safe?

Whilst we will do everything to ensute that everyody is safe at all times, as a small organization we do not have the volunteer capacity to look after every section, therefore we ask that the groups provide supervision over their own designated space.

How do I receive more information about the event?

Please feel free to contact Leanne at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any specific questions you may have. Please also check this website for regular updates.


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