Dear friends of Greenly, we are glad to present you a beautiful project! We thank Professor Mioara Clius for this information! But we should let you discover what this is all about…
“Discovering the Treasure Next to Us – The Bicaz Gorge– Hășmaș National Park” is a project initiated by the Educational Center for Sustainable Development (CEDDu – Centrul de Educație pentru Dezvoltare Durabilă) in Neamț County, Borlești Village, Borlești Commune, Decebal Street no. 61; Website: http://ceddu.ro; E-mail: email@example.com; Telephone no..: 0723662836) which aims to raise awareness about the natural treasures that can be found in this protected area. The project was initiated in the idea that the city of Bălan, which has suffered from an economic downturn in recent years due to the termination of copper mining activities, can profit from an increase in tourism brought about by its natural assets, thus raising the locals’ living standards. In order to achieve this objective, children and members of the local community must get to know the natural elements that are preserved by the Bicaz – Hășmaș protected area, which lies close to the city, and the local authorities must support these initiatives for developing tourism in the area, regardless of their specific type (eco-tourism, adventure tours, scientific tourism, etc.).
In the following paragraphs, we shall present, in brief, some of the activities and materials created as a part of this project:
1. Teaching materials for primary schools:
- Worksheets about protected plants found in the park, (Fig. 1-2) for primary school pupils.
- A tactile atlas (a one-of-a-kind idea for Romania, or at least a very original one).Each page contains an image of a plant or tree, along with some information about the uniqueness of its environment where it can be found and, next to the image, a piece of tree bark and the imprint of a leaf made of plaster. With this atlas, we have brought a number of plant species inside the classroom in order for children to become familiar with the various species of trees and plants protected within the park (Fig. 3-5). The plant samples HAVE NOT BEEN taken from the protected area.
- Power point presentations and information posters containing the natural elements protected by the Bicaz Gorges – Hășmaș National Park – aimed at gymnasium and high-school students (Fig. 6-7).
2. Organizing an indoor competition for more than 200 students from gymnasium and high-school class in order to check the level of knowledge about the park. After this competition, we selected 40 students (20 from gymnasium classes and 20 from high-school) for participating in an outdoor contest (Fig. 8).
3. Organizing an outdoor contest (“The Hidden Treasures of Hășmaș”) modelled after the Amazing Race competition, with numerous challenges that tested the participants’ knowledge of nature, the National Park, field orientation and more (Fig. 9 – 12). Both the students that took part (40) and the more than 40 volunteers involved (parents, friends and teachers) enjoyed this original and exciting competition.
4. Organizing an on-line photography competition called “Hășmaș – Nature and Man”. Students captured both the Hășmaș Mountains and the city of Bălan the way they feel, see and enjoy them. The pictures were voted on the CEDDu facebook page and were rewarded with prizes at a festivity held at the “Geo Bogza” Gymnasium on June 5th, 2015 (Fig. 13).
5. Organizing a permanent exhibition by CEDDu members helped by the students of Bălan, on the subject of the natural treasures protected by the Bicaz Gorge – Hășmaș National Park, hosted all summer long by the “Geo Bogza” Gymnasium (Florilor Street no. 4) for both locals and tourists that visit the town (Fig. 14 – 16). This exhibition has already been seen by many students from Bălan and neighbouring towns and villages over the final weeks of the school year or during the summer courses organized by the school, and also by many members of the local community. This exhibition is by now a major attraction in town and many people are amazed by the hidden beauty of the mountains that can be seen from every corner of Bălan.
6. The creation of a brochure titled “Nature’s Treasures in the Bicaz Gorge – Hășmaș National Park”, which can be seen on-line on the CEDDu website (http://www.ceddu.ro/documente/Comorile_naturii_din_Parcul_Naţional_Cheile_Bicazului_-_Hăşmaş.pdf) and also on the web-site of the National Park (http://www.cheilebicazului-hasmas.ro).
This project received financial backing from the Partnership Foundation and MOL Romania through the Green Spaces Program – Natural Protected Areas. Logistical support in Bălan was provided by three partners: the “Geo Bogza” Gymnasium and the “Liviu Rebreanu” Technological High-school of Bălan, together with the Bicaz Gorge – Hășmaș Natural Park Administration. During the two months of the project (20 April– 20 June), more than 300 students from Bălan and 160 volunteers were involved and, thanks to media promotion, all the residents of Bălan were informed about this initiative. The cost of this project was 24.910 RON (around 5500 Euros) 20% of which was covered by CEDDu.
June 30th, 2015
Article written by Valentina Mănoiu and translated by Mihail Mitoșeriu.