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Students from the Silviculture Department of the Faculty of Forestry and Environment at IPB University, who are members of the Tree Grower Community Professional Association (TGC), carried out a planting activity of 300 Balsa (Ochroma grandiflorum Rowlee) seedlings to commemorate Forestry Day. The activity was held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Jasinga Silviculture Teaching Industry (JSTI), Jasinga, Bogor Regency.

Forestry Day is commemorated every March 16 as the establishment of the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry in 1983. This planting action was initiated by the Project Division of the Tree Grower Community Professional Association (TGC). The planting of 300 seedlings was carried out by 60 students from cohorts 57 and 58, accompanied by 10 people and Dr. Erianto Indra Putra, S.Hut. M.Si as the Secretary of the Silviculture Department. This year’s Forestry Day was filled with planting activities as a form of dedication by a forester to the environment. According to Talitha, the person in charge of Forestry Day, “This activity was chosen because it is one of the concrete forms of a forester’s dedication to preserving forests and a means of fostering awareness of the importance of preserving forests among students.” Furthermore, the Project Division staff also mentioned the application of Silviculture knowledge and skills in the field. “In addition, planting is also aimed at applying the knowledge gained during lectures and improving skills in planting,” said Talitha.

A portion of the JSTI area still has low canopy cover. Therefore, efforts to address this issue include re-vegetation of vacant land. The chosen seedling for re-vegetation is Balsa (O. grandiflorum Rowlee). This type was chosen because it is intolerant and suitable for open land conditions. In terms of economy, balsa is currently trending due to its lightweight wood, making it suitable for furniture and even light aircraft. Although the activity went smoothly, there were still challenges faced during the preparation phase. Talitha mentioned the challenge of selecting suitable plant species for the planting location. “The initial preparation that was quite difficult was determining the plant species to be planted at the location because we also had to match the plants with the planting site conditions. Other than that, everything went smoothly without any problems,” said Talitha during the interview session.