On April 21, 2012, the Chiba Fureai-no-Mori Conservation Group conducted its 77th activity in the Ricoh Chiba Fureai-no-Mori forest in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City, with 11 participants, consisting of employees of Ricoh Japan, Ricoh Technosystems and other Ricoh group companies and their families. On the activity day, the volunteers worked in two groups, engaged in different tasks. One group planted seed potatoes, sowing half-cut potatoes along ridged rows after treating the exposed faces with charcoal that has natural antiseptic property. The other group focused on thinning out unwanted trees and collecting the resulting leftover wood. In the 2012 spring event, held on a sunny day when cherry blossoms were in full bloom in the surrounding areas, the participants enjoyed seeing lush greenery and beautiful flowers while working in nature.
The Chiba Fureai-no-Mori Conservation Group started its activities in 2004, when it entered into an agreement—based on Chiba Prefecture’s ordinance on conserving rural landscape—with the forest owner, who was looking for help with the maintenance of his cedar forest, which was plagued with rampant bamboo. Since then, the volunteer group has been working mainly in the following three areas: (1) weeding to promote the growth of forest trees, (2) creating space to build recreation facilities, and (3) using the timber from thinned out trees to build the recreation facilities.
Participating employees and their families
On May 5, the Children’s Day in Japan, in 2012, the Yadoriki Shinboku Group participated in the Kodomo-no-kaze Festival*1 held by Midori-Kawa-to-Kaze-no-Kai*2 in a space on the Tsurumigawa river bank close to Kamoi Station in Midori-ku, Yokohama City, offering a workshop of creating bamboo flutes that attracted around 140 children. This cooperation event was proposed by a member of the both groups. The children worked to create simple instruments by hand and looked exhilarated to hear their finished flutes produce sound.
The Yadoriki Shinboku Group is an environmental volunteer group of Ricoh employees that started its activities in 2001, when Kanagawa Prefecture launched its Forest Development Partnership Program. While initial activity revolved around the conservation of Yadoriki spring, the group has expanded its activities since 2006 to include the management and monitoring of a mixed forest (including zelkova trees) in Tanzawa-Oyama Kanagawa Prefectural Natural Park, as well as the development and management of many bamboo forests in the prefecture.
[Left] Preparing for the event in the Shin-Yokohama Office (June 3)
[Right] Participating in the Kodomo-no-kaze Festival organized by Midori-kawa-to-kaze-no-kai (May 5)