During the Christmas holidays the ecological school “Life of the winter forest” was organized in the ecological center “Baklanovo,” National Park “Smolensk Lakeland”. In addition to the National Park, organization of the ecological school traditionally was attended by Non-Profit Partnership “Birds and people.”
Despite the cold, guys from Moscow, Smolensk and Smolensk region, Tver region and Borisoglebsk of Voronezh region gathered for extracurricular activities. Children were happy to take part in excursions into the forest, bird watching, to understand the intricacies of animal tracks, trying to identify invertebrates wintering under the bark and in the anthills and take a lot of other exciting things. Transect was restored, which had been established by participants of the ecological camp 10 years ago and the test area to monitor long-term changes in the structure of pine forests was also established.
In addition, the participants visited House Museum of N.M. Przhewalsky, walked through the eco-trail “In the realm of the brown bear,” enjoyed the view of the lake Sapsho from the observation deck, watched the Przhewalsky’s horses and learned a lot in the Museum of birch bark. In the evenings the teachers read lectures for children about different aspects of the nature of their native land. Young researchers have not only worked, but also enthusiastically rested – participated in the games, competed in creative competitions and communicated with each other.
One day was almost entirely devoted to competitions in birding. Despite the cold, the guys were able to photograph 18 species of birds in total what is not bad for the winter! The participants of the competition got acquainted with the birds of our region, and now they are able to distinguish for example a tit from a nuthatch! The winners of course were awarded.
As a result of all classes, a conference was held, at which the children presented their research works, which summed up the results of their research. All projects had a high level and showed that children also learned how to work in a team, to speak publicly. The results of the children’s research have been given to the research department of the National Park for their further use in the scientific monitoring of natural objects.
Conference was attended by the Director of the National Park A.S. Kochergin, deputy director for Environmental Education and Tourism V.A. Astakhova and the deputy director of EcoCentre “Zapovedniks” (Moscow) E.B. Knizhnikova. They congratulated the students and teachers with the New Year, praised the children for their genuine interest in wildlife and wished new successes in their activities as researchers.
All participants will remember for a long time the days spent in the Ecological School in Lakeland, because here they learned a lot about nature, found new friends, had a great time!