Tree-Planting Initiative in Schwerin (September 16-18, 1979)
From September 16-18, 1979, a 50-member church youth group planted approximately 5,000 trees and bushes along a trolley line in Schwerin; among them was seventeen-year-old Jörn Mothes (right). In March 1980, another round of trees was planted, this time by a group of more than 100 young people. The idea of planting trees to express environmental consciousness was also taken up by groups in other GDR cities, including Rostock, Leipzig, and Berlin. It led to the development of an independent environmental movement that aimed to point out the discrepancy between official avowals of concern for the environment and the destruction of nature that was happening in reality.