Young ‘Nature Guardians’ Navigate Uzhhorod’s Riverbanks

The young members of the “Nature Guardians” club from the Transcarpathian Regional Center for Children and Youth Creativity, known as “PADIUN,” recently went on an outdoor adventure to explore the biodiversity along the riverbanks of Uzhhorod. This engaging activity aimed to deepen the students’ understanding of bird behavior in the autumn season while honing their observation skills, and spatial orientation, and fostering a sense of responsibility toward nature. The chosen observation spot was the Pravoslavna embankment, situated on the left bank of the Uzh River.

The walk was led by their group educator, Oksana Strichko, and took place along the Pravoslavna embankment on the left side of the Uzh River.  Mrs. Oksana provided the young nature enthusiasts with insights into the flora surrounding the riverbanks. She highlighted the prevalence of an invasive species, hogweed, which, though once utilized as a pasture plant, is now recognized as poisonous and allergenic, capable of causing burns upon contact. The students also gained insights into the medicinal properties of the Japanese pagoda tree, found in the vicinity, which boasts biologically active substances with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities. The educational journey extended to plants, particularly algae, commonly found along the river bank. The children were introduced to water silk, visible as clusters of green threads near the water’s edge.

The young viewers focused their attention on waterfowl such as mallards, black-headed gulls, herons, and mute swans. The children, who were equipped with binoculars, gazed at the birds from a distance without causing any disturbance. A particular highlight was witnessing the protective instincts of adult mute swans toward their cygnets. As the trip ended, the children took a minute to enjoy nature’s autumn beauty. The discussions focused on ethical bird-feeding ways, highlighting what is acceptable and what is completely prohibited from providing them. The youngsters were left with a richness of emotions and a greater understanding of their natural surroundings after reaffirming water safety regulations.

The event was held within the framework of cooperation between the Interreligious and Civil Environmental Forum of Eastern Europe (IRCEF) headed by Olexander Bokotey) and the German Nature Conservation Union (NABU BundesverbandNABU International), project coordinators  Ivan Tymofeiev (NABU), and Nataliya Kulya (IRCEF).

Informational Service of IRCEF

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