Further trips planned Help Shuttle wants to spruce up gardens in the Ahr valley

Grafschaft · The flood relief organisation Helfer-Shuttle is taking a winter break, but is already working on new projects. The focus is on garden areas in the Ahr valley that were destroyed by the floods and which the volunteers with green fingers want to restore in the coming weeks.

 The Grafschafter Helfer-Shuttle will soon start the new year with a spring campaign: Gardens in the Ahr valley are to be greened up again with the help of many volunteers.

The Grafschafter Helfer-Shuttle will soon start the new year with a spring campaign: Gardens in the Ahr valley are to be greened up again with the help of many volunteers.

Foto: Stephan Stegmann

The flood disaster last July devastated many garden areas in the Ahr valley. The helpers' shuttle announces timely help in this regard. The county flood relief organisation is currently taking a winter break, but plans are already in full swing for a large-scale horticultural operation afterwards. The acquisition of potential gardens has begun and applicants are being sought. Every day on weekends, about 120 gardening volunteers are expected to restore the green spaces destroyed by the flood.

Gardens along the Ahr to bloom again

As planned, volunteers will not be shuttled to their assignments in the Ahr valley until the end of the winter break on 1 March. Nevertheless, the website of the volunteer organisation is already emblazoned in large letters at the beginning of February: "We ahr back! There is a good reason for this. "Because we are currently busy planning our big spring campaign," says Marc Ulrich, head of the helper shuttle. What does that mean exactly? "After dreary winter days and far-advanced work inside the building, we want to help the Ahr Valley regain more colour on the outside as well. That's why we want to join forces and support local horticulturists to make the gardens of flood victims bloom again and ensure that the flood plain becomes colourful once more."

Interested parties are invited to fill out an online application form on the website where individual wishes can be noted, he said. "And then it should start very soon. We want to set an example in terms of quality of stay by saying: something is also happening in the gardens. We are making it colourful again, we are making it beautiful again," says Ulrich. "We see ourselves as a provisional greening committee. This is definitely an extension of our repertoire.“

120 garden helpers a day on weekends

However, the helper shuttle does not want to be seen as competition for the regional gardening companies. "We see ourselves more as a reinforcement. We are not professional garden planners, but have volunteers in our ranks who simply feel like helping to rebuild the Ahr valley." The helper shuttle collects donations of materials, accepts requests from those affected, delivers the greening materials and also lends a hand with the planting. Ulrich expects a lot of support in the coming weeks: "I am sure that we will get enough helpers. We calculate with about 120 helpers per day on the weekends in order to plan the first operations sensibly.“

The official inauguration of the restructured helper shuttle area in the Rhineland Innovation Park is also planned. As is well known, the Walporzheim building materials tent is currently moving into a voluminous tent in the county, and a craftsmen's village is also being set up in containers. The idea: "We want to bring all the local organisations together under one overall name in order to make it clear what has been created there," says Ulrich. "We are currently considering 19 February for the official launch." (Original text: Stephan Stegmann / Translation: Mareike Graepel)

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