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Monday 18.06.2018 | Name days: Madis, Alberts
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Riga Mayor: tree-planting activists in Riga are «absolute jackasses»

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUPeople who arbitrarily decide to plant trees in the middle of streets in Riga are ‘absolute jackasses’, says Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs.

He said in an interview to Diena: «In all my years working in the municipality, I have never seen such a level of idiocy. When Barona Street was repaired, we created space for trees and bushes. Tree-planting is going as planned. And now some absolute jackasses show up, dig up locations reserved for Rīgas meži to plant trees in an organized manner and plant there who knows what, make that a show and then act surprised when we then have to dig up what they dug in there […]»

Ušakovs added that trees will be planted in empty spots this year in accordance with the plan and nature’s calendar.

The mayor is of the same opinion when it comes to people who draw bicycle lines on Riga’s streets.

Meanwhile, members of the «Pilsēta cilvēkiem par kokiem Rīgas centrā» association write on their website: «No trees were planted in those spots for years. This is because the Environment Department, which is responsible for maintaining saplings and other plants in the city, simply has not allocated any funding for this – money for tree maintenance is received from cut-down trees. The streets themselves do a good job of demonstrating the department’s attitude – instead of planting new trees in free spots, Riga City Council’s Transport Department has decided to simply brick off planting areas.»

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The alleged goal of the tree-planting campaign was turning municipality’s attention towards the rapid death of trees in Riga’s centre, says the association’s activist and architect Oto Ozols.

He says the goal was not voicing direct criticisms to employees of SIA Rīgas meži or other forestry companies, but pointing municipality’s attention to the fact that the number of trees in the city has declined by 2,500 in the past eight years. «More trees are cut down than planted in Riga. And this is happening in the city centre, where problems with air quality are especially high. People do not want to live in such an environment and decide to leave. The city’s management seems unable to understand this,» says Ozols.


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