First Female President Honored Today with Trees Skip to content

First Female President Honored Today with Trees

Some 200 birch tree saplings will today be planted across Iceland in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Iceland voting for the world’s first elected female head of state.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was elected President on June 29 1980; 35 years ago.

In addition to today’s tree planting, there is also a schedule of commemorative events tomorrow.

Forestry, land restoration and nature conservation have always been special interests for Vigdís and she championed them during her presidency.

Early on in her time as head of state, Vigdís started the ceremonial practice of planting three trees everywhere she went on an official visit: one for the girls, one for the boys, and the third for the coming generations. It therefore seems appropriate for forestry associations across the country to mark Vigdís’s anniversary by planting trees, according to RÚV.

Forestry associations and municipalities are working together on the tree planting and they will be planted three-by-three around the country—around 200 in total. The trees are 1.5-2 meter tall birch saplings of an Icelandic cultivated strain called Embla.

Ragnhildur Freysteinsdóttir, an environmental scientist with the Icelandic Forestry Association, says that most municipalities and local forestry associations are taking part. “It is so nice that it is around the whole country. Vigdís is naturally an honored member of the Icelandic Forestry Association.”

It is not usual to plant such large trees as these—the hope being that they can be enjoyed right away, without needing to wait several years for them to grow.

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