Following on from the excellent work done by Euroleague Basketball and #walk15 at the 2023 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Kaunas, Lithuania, the Walking Challenge was resumed in the Lithuanian city on October 27, 2023, as even more trees were planted into the ground with the help of Jonas Maciulis, former EuroLeague player and EuroLeague champion with Real Madrid.
Euroleague Basketball, #walk15 culminate tree-planting initiative in Kaunas
Back in May, when the Final Four came to town, Euroleague Basketball created alliances with several partners in order to promote sustainability education and initiatives for any participants and visitors in Kaunas for the semifinals, third-place and championship games.
Throughout Europe's premier club basketball event, the Final Four Walking Challenge saw Euroleague Basketball work alongside the Lithuania-based app #walk15 as everyone was encouraged to walk around the city in order to reduce carbon emissions while engaging in healthy habits and promoting sustainable mobility around the Final Four. On top of that, the goal was to plant at least 5,000 trees, in addition to the 10,000 trees that Euroleague Basketball planted on May 6.
In the end, the challenge was such a success that the target of 15,000 planted trees was surpassed; the extra 6,000 trees planted in this last phase were placed in the area of the Dubravos forest. As such, thanks to this initiative based around the Final Four, a total of 16,000 trees have now been planted in Kaunas. At the Final Four, 7,332 people participated in the Walking Challenge, which resulted in 229,417,951 steps being taken.
The benefit of these planted trees is that they will help absorb approximately more than 100 tons of the CO2 that is emitted into the environment each year, while the species of the trees planted were selected to also contribute to the needs of the local wildlife.