O aposentado Hélio da Silva plantou 25 mil árvores SOZINHO e recuperou área degradada em São Paulo

11 de janeiro de 2019

“Quem disse que uma andorinha só não faz verão?” O comentário de um popular na internet sobre o Parque Linear Tiquatira resume bem a história por trás do verde de uma das principais áreas de lazer e recreação da Zona Leste de São Paulo. Às margens do córrego que dá nome ao bosque, as mais de 25 mil árvores presentes surgiram, em sua maior parte, da perseverança de um único cidadão.

Hélio da Silva, 67 anos, administrador de empresas aposentado, mais conhecido pela merecida alcunha de “Plantador de Árvores”, plantou a primeira muda no local em 23 de novembro de 2013. Quatro anos e 5 mil árvores depois, a recuperação de uma área antes degradada motivou a Prefeitura de São Paulo a transformar o bosque no primeiro parque linear (no decurso de um rio) da capital paulista.

“Antes, havia lá umas 15 árvores de replantio apenas”, recorda Silva. “Era uma área degradada, suja, cheia de entulhos, altamente frequentada por traficantes e usuários de drogas”, diz o empresário, natural de Promissão (SP) e desde os 8 anos morador de São Paulo.

 

A instituição do parque levou Silva a acelerar ainda mais o ritmo. Quanto mais gente e pássaros eram atraídos para a ilha verde em meio ao concreto, mais buracos Silva cavava para novas mudas. “As árvores são generosas, oferecem ar puro, ajudam a preservar as nascentes, dão frutos, atraem pássaros, embelezam com flores e contribuem para reduzir a temperatura em seu entorno e retêm 40% das chuvas torrenciais, evitando erosões”, diz, justificando seu fascínio pelas plantas.

Hoje, o parque de 320 mil metros quadrados está densamente arborizado. Somente Silva plantou 25.047 árvores no local, com sobrevida de 88% (nos cálculos dele). São mais de 150 espécies da Mata Atlântica, o que inclui o ameaçado pau-brasil e também a araucária, símbolo do Paraná. Entre as árvores mais recorrentes estão jequitibás, aroeiras, ipês (floridos nesta época do ano) e embaúbas.

Frutas e pássaros

Quem aproveita a pista de caminhada para se exercitar não tarda a ouvir o cantar dos pássaros, que só deram as caras após o surgimento dos primeiros frutos. De acordo com Silva, a cada 12 árvores plantadas por ele, uma é frutífera. Araçás, amoras, frutas do conde, pêssegos do mato, jabuticabas, figueiras oferecem um verdadeiro banquete para sabiás, sanhaços, periquitos, maracanãs, maritacas, tico-ticos, saíras, entre outras 20 espécies de pássaros avistados, segundo a Secretaria Municipal do Verde e do Meio Ambiente.

“No feriado, estava mostrando para minha mãe o quanto o Tiquatira melhorou com as árvores”, comentou Robson Xavier de Carvalho, vizinho do bosque, em postagem na página “Plantador de Árvores” numa rede social. “O senhor é gente que faz a diferença. Somos gratos ao senhor por ter deixado nossa região tão arborizada assim”, escreveu Laelson Sousa na mesma página, utilizada por Silva para divulgar o “balancete” das árvores plantadas no Tiquatira e em outros cantos da capital.

Pouca ajuda e vandalismo

São incontáveis as mensagens de parabéns pela boa ação, porém, são poucas as pessoas que se dispõem a ir além, pondo a mão na massa. Mensagens como “se precisar de ajuda, me avise”, Silva sabe bem, não ajudam a transformar o cinza em verde. “Atualmente, conto com duas pessoas, o Carlos e o Waldemar, que me ajudam há dois anos. Nesses quase 15 anos, algumas pessoas me apoiaram, mas foram ficando pelo caminho. Em São Paulo, o vizinho é um anônimo, e a maioria das pessoas quer saber apenas de seus problemas particulares”, lamenta Silva.

Apesar falta de apoio, Silva se diz feliz pelas conquistas — cada novo pássaro avistado, por exemplo, é uma conquista —, especialmente quando relembra os árduos primeiros passos de sua jornada. Por muitos anos, Silva via o dinheiro tirado do próprio bolso para a aquisição de adubo e mudas ir para o ralo com a devastação das árvores pelos vândalos. Segundo ele, todas as suas primeiras 200 árvores foram totalmente destruídas.

O vandalismo se repetia, mais árvores eram destruídas e o poder público — de quem Silva diz nunca ter esperado muito — poucas providências tomava. “Além de não poder estar em todos os lugares ao mesmo tempo, o poder público é lerdo, moroso, burocrático e, muitas vezes, sem vontade nenhuma de ser fraterno, cidadão, generoso”, diz.

Meta: 50 mil árvores

Hélio da Silva escolhe sempre árvores frutíferas para plantar. Foto: Edison Veiga.Hélio da Silva escolhe sempre árvores frutíferas para plantar. Foto: Edison Veiga.

Graças à perseverança do plantador de árvores, a sensação quando se está no Parque Linear Tiquatira é de que os males da poluição de uma cidade com frota de quase 8,7 milhões de veículos (levantamento do Detran/SP) dão uma trégua. “Um parque é a maior unidade básica de saúde, é o melhor hospital. Aqui está a cura para uma doença que afeta mais da metade de humanidade, a depressão”, comenta o Plantador de Árvores.

A boa notícia para a saúde do paulistano é que a jornada de Hélio da Silva parece estar longe do fim. “Vou dedicar todo o tempo restante da minha vida a isso. Quero chegar, no mínimo, a 50 mil árvores como legado para as futuras gerações”, diz o empresário, pai de três filhos e avô de três netos. Todos os sábados e domingos de manhã, Silva é visto contemplando o Tiquatira, normalmente acompanhado de suas ferramentas e de mais algumas mudas em mãos. Os pulmões da vizinhança agradecem.

O senhor já se dá por satisfeito ou pretende prosseguir plantando árvores? 

A boa notícia para a saúde do paulistano é que a jornada de Hélio da Silva parece estar longe do fim. Foto: Pétala Lopes.A boa notícia para a saúde do paulistano é que a jornada de Hélio da Silva parece estar longe do fim. Foto: Pétala Lopes.

Hélio da Silva – Meu propósito é plantar 50 mil árvores na zona leste de São Paulo, cuja população ultrapassa 6,2 milhões de habitantes. Só no parque linear cabem, seguramente, mais 8 mil. Por isso, quero fazer um grande maciço de árvores com grande densidade. Isso para evitar ocupação irregular.

Como o senhor ganhou o apelido de “Plantador de Árvores”? 

Um dia me perguntaram: Quem é o senhor? Respondi que era um plantador de árvores, e isso pegou. Planto árvores onde eu estiver, no Parque Tiquatira [capital paulista], no Sul de Minas Gerais, em espaços que necessitem de áreas verdes.

Sua história de vida como plantador de árvores já frutificou? Mais gente seguiu seu exemplo? 

Várias pessoas têm essa iniciativa [de plantar árvores em áreas públicas], e talvez tenham se inspirado na minha história; mas isso é presunção, deixa pra lá. Farei a minha parte muito bem feita. Gosto de dividir “minhas” árvores com todos. Tenho mais de 25 mil filhos ecológicos e três biológicos e mais três netos, que lá na frente vão cuidar disso.

Vista geral do Parque Linear Tiquatira, na zona leste de São Paulo. Imagem: Divulgação.Vista geral do Parque Linear Tiquatira, na zona leste de São Paulo. Imagem: Divulgação.

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