A path to the Silver Land through the flora

Transcarpathia is well-known for its wonderful nature, rich flora, and proud locals. Another name in our region is “Silver Land” which is associated with the legend of the church bell. According to legend, that bell is not simple but is “silver”, cast in Kyiv in 1034 and presented by Yaroslav the Wise’s daughter, Anastasia, to the Bogarevytskyi church in the Irshava district. The bells of Transcarpathia save us from storms, disperse clouds, and protect our region.

The most reliable guardians of the region and its nature are the growing youth who learn about their native region, its history, nature, and folk customs and cherish great love for the Motherland in their hearts. Olga Velychkanych, head of the department of biology and research work of the Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalistic Center for Students Youth (TRENCSY) and the expert of the IERS, prepared an environmental quest “Exploring the flora of the Silver Earth” for young nature lovers who are resting in a summer camp organized by the Social and Catechetical Center of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Eparchy in the village of Antalovtsi.

The children temporarily immersed themselves in the unique beauty of the nature of the Carpathians, mountains and meadows, beech forests, and wonders of the plant world, and learned a lot of interesting things about our magical region. They had the opportunity to test their knowledge and compete in the ability to work in a team, completing the quest. At the “Medicinal Plants” stop, the participants had to identify a plant with medicinal properties by its description, name it, and choose the correct image. On the next stop, the children competed in the knowledge of vegetable crops that grow in their grandmother’s garden, told in which regions of Transcarpathia the crops gathered sooner and why. At the “Find a pair” stop, young nature explorers had to match the plant names with the characteristics that correspond to them, such as: “Edelweiss is a symbol of the Carpathians”, “Oak is strength and health”, “Chamomile is an antiseptic”, ” Coltsfoot helps for cough”, etc.

Young ethnologists guessed riddles about plants, in particular symbol plants and red book plants of the region. During the environmental event, the children expanded their knowledge of the plant world and understood the need for a careful attitude to the environment and flora in particular. Having learned that our region is the richest floristic region of Ukraine and has more than 2,000 species of plants, the children came to the conclusion that it is the duty of every resident of the region to study, protect and increase the green wealth of Transcarpathia!

The event was held in cooperation with the Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalist Center for Students Youth (TRENCSY) and the Interreligious and Environmental Civil Forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF) (head by  Alexander Bokotey)  within the framework of the project “Churches, religious and public organizations for the environmental of national minorities” in cooperation with the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU Bundesverband NABU International ) under with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt) project coordinators Ivan Tymofeiev (NABU)Nataliya Kulya (IRCEF) with the participation of the Ecological Commission of the MGCE.

Informational Service of IRCEF: Olga Velychkanych, Head of the Department of Biology and Research-Experimental Work of TRENCSY

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