Acquaintance with the natural sights of Uzhhorod

Uzhhorod is one of the greenest cities in Europe. the city has streets, embankments, and parks. Currently, the city has more than 500 species of ornamental trees, shrubs, and some exotic trees. In order to get acquainted with the most significant and famous natural sights, the teachers of TRENCSY conducted an excursion for juniors as part of educational and field practice along the following route: Masaryk ash tree – Linden alley – Istvan Loudon arboretum.

The acquaintance of the young people began with the Masaryk ash tree – a botanical monument of nature of local importance in Ukraine, located at the beginning of the Independence embankment. Oleksandr Gerevych, director of TRENCSY, and group leader Erika Kazarina told that the ash tree is about 120 years old, the girth of the trunk is 4.9 m, and the height is 30 m. Until recently, it was surrounded by ivy that was about 50 years old and died last year. The ash tree is named after the first president of the Czechoslovak Republic, a prominent scientist, and politician Tomas Garrig Masaryk.

Not far from the ash tree, on the right bank of the Uzh River, on the “Independence” embankment and Students’ embankment, there is Linden Alley, which is the hallmark of our city. It was planted in 1928 by Czech botanists, and the alley has about 300 lindens specimens of five different species – largeleaf linden, littleleaf linden, Canadian linden, American linden, and Caucasian linden, which bloom in different periods. It’s 2.2 km long and is a park monument of local importance in Ukraine. Thanks to Iryna Katrych, the head of the club, the young people learned that lindens perfectly absorb dust, strengthen the embankment with their roots to protect against floods, have healing properties, and are resistant to air pollution.

The most famous natural monument of the city is the Laudon Arboretum, which is located on the territory of the city children’s hospital and is also a park monument of local importance. The young people learned that the arboretum was founded in 1896 by Istvan Laudon, a botany teacher, and professor at the Uzhhorod Gymnasium. I. Laudon obtained the necessary planting material, including rare species at that time ginkgo, bald cypress, and magnolia.

After visiting the garden, the children were convinced that about two dozen different exotic plants have been preserved in a relatively small area: Japanese bigleaf magnolia, Ginkgo biloba, Japanese cedar, and Oriental thuja, which grow in East Asia; swamp cypress, Canadian hemlock, and Douglas fir came from the American continent. European species are represented by common beech, common oak, common yew, and black pine (Austrian). The Ginkgo biloba is the oldest female specimen growing in the city. Every fall, the youth collect seeds and grow young ginkgo seedlings, which are later planted on the territory of the eco-center and Bozdosky Park, as well as also given to the guests of the center. Young people also learned that the city still has an alley of sycamore maple, horse-chestnut, and Japanese pagoda tree.

The final point of the tour was the well-known exotarium “Aquarium”, which is under the care of Oleg Dyba. During the excursion, the children dived into the wonderful world of exotic fish, reptiles, insects, birds, and bats. Mr. Oleg explained that almost all the inhabitants of the exotarium are friendly and do not need to be afraid of them. The most important thing that the children understood is that you just need to love “our smaller living beings”, and understand and take care of them!

The event was held as part of the cooperation of the Transcarpathian Regional Ecological and Naturalistic Center for Students Youth (TRENCSY) with the Interreligious and Environmental Civil Forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF) (head by  Alexander Bokotey) in cooperation with the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU Bundesverband NABU International ), and project coordinators Ivan Tymofeiev (NABU)Nataliya Kulya (IRCEF).

Olha Velichkanych, Head of the Biology Department y and Natural Conservation Work of the TRENCSY

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