Germany: The Luther trees

Creation - not for sale

Luther Trees & Geocaching


Young reformers: Lena Lothringen and Hanna Wolfram

Church: Evangelical Church in Central Germany

Implementation period: 31.10.2015-31.12-2016

How many people were involved? 10

How many people did you reach? 400+

Links to the Project :


What did you aim at?

Planting the Luther trees, which were planted in previous centuries to celebrate the reformation, known to young people. To collect the stories of the different trees and show how the remembrance of Martin Luther has changed over the years. To connect young people to the pla

ces they live in and teach them about the roles their cities played in the reformation, through finding / researching about a Luther tree or planting a new one. To bring the history of the Luther trees to people of every age through the global game geocaching.


What did you achieve?

  • 153 Luther trees and counting have been planted around the world

  • Raising awareness on environment protection and youth participation


What did you do?

  • Gave out postcards for promoting the Luther trees

  • Created a website in German and Englis

  • Planted a Luther tree at the youth camp of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany in Volkenroda

  • Promote and invite to join the project goal in planting Luther trees around the world

Interview with young reformers

What is the ongoing reformation you want to see in your church?

I want my church to be more open to new activities or things that they don’t usually know, just like our project. Also, being ecumenical, because ecumenical questions are a big personal problem for me, and it’s important to show that we can be one church and not separated communities. More ecumenical projects or statements that we do together as followers of Christ.

What has been the reaction of the project among the youth?

Finding Luther trees that have been planted in Germany and all over the world and to connect them with geocaching, a popular leisure activity for people all around the world. We created a website for that and linked trees from Germany and other countries. Young people have told us that they like it very much because they didn’t know about the Luther trees at all and through geocaching and through the project, they have made new connections with the places they live and their local histories. Many Luther trees have been planted for Luther’s birthday or other things martin luther did in the places where trees are planted or to remember him, and so they had fun going out and searching for the geocaches but also learning about martin Luther. They liked it very much.

How has been the participation of the youth in the reformation project?

The project was very connected to the youth workers of the church, because through their projects and organization we were able to reach many people, 3 people were directly responsible for the creation of the project. Not easy to count those who were reached through the website. But for one example, we planted a tree during a youth festival at our church and went geocaching together with a group of about 40 to 50 (14-15?) young people. There were at least 400-500 direct participants. There are about 100 trees on the website from all around the world, and groups are involved with geocaching at each tree.

What has been challenging about creating the project?

The hardest was communicating with each other, because the each member of the project group lived in different places. Had to connect via skype, email, travel. Had to wait for answers sometimes, which made it difficult to reach some timelines. The challenging thing with the website was connecting the church geocaching website with the official global geocaching site, had to get new system for logging the geocaches. Trees were often already planted, but in some instances people used their own budgets for setting up the geocaches. Had good support from the church so no problems there, they helped design postcards to advertise the project, some youth workers were not interested in geocaching or Luther trees so we tried and continue to try to motivate people.

Did everything go as planned?

We did not have point by point plan, our plan was more open. The only thing that didn’t go as planned was designing the website. It took longer than expected, so the website was not up and running until a month after the goal.

How do you see the continuity of the project?

The Luther trees were a great project idea which engaged youth and people of all ages. People could connect with others around the world when they joined the initiative to plant a Luther tree. The participation is in Germany but also internationally, and we want to continue because it is important for us and for the church.