Grove of Europe
The European Grove, which is situated in the Talsi district, has been composed of trees each of them representing one of the EU Member States. On 1 May 2004, when Latvia acceded to the European Union thus becoming a Member State, Mārtiņš Roze, the Minister for Agriculture responded to the Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga’s, the President of Latvia, called for
planting trees on the significant day in Latvian history. The minister organised collective planting of the European Grove wherein diplomats of the EU Member States, the head of the delegation of the European Commission, representatives of the forest sector, heads of local authorities, representatives of the groups of intellectuals and students of Talsi high school were taking part.
Each Member State is represented by one tree. In the European Grove Latvia’s tree is rowan. Other Member States have been represented by: Austria – European larch, Belgium – ash, Bulgaria – Macedonian pine, the Czech Republic – European yew, Denmark – European beech, France – common oak, Greece – horse chestnut, Estonia – silver birch, Italy – creeping pine, Ireland – common juniper, Cyprus – Macedonian pine, the United Kingdom – common oak, Lithuania – Norway maple, Luxemburg – sorb tree, Malta – black pine, the Netherlands – Wych elm, Poland – small leaved lime, Portugal – common oak, Romania- common oak, Slovakia – Wych elm, Slovenia – large leaved lime, Finland – Scots pine, Spain – common oak, Hungary – common oak, Germany – European beech, Sweden – silver birch. And the common tree of the European Union – silver fir. The composition of various trees forms a nature park that has been dedicated to the European unity. In 2005, the European Grove was broadened when ambassadors of the EU Member States and neighboring countries, heads of the Latvian forest sector and non-government organizations had planted new trees.
The tradition of planting European Groves goes back to 2003 when he participants of the ministerial conference “On the Protection of Forests in Europe” held in Vienna planted the first grove on the opening day of the conference. Each state planted particular tree species. European Grove events are held within the framework of annual “forest days”. The European Grove is complemented by donations of partners of the Talsi district authority.