This project is aimed at rethinking the historical route "Royal Forest" in the national park "Curonian spit" as an ecological path for conducting classes on the problems of the Baltic ecology for schoolchildren of different categories. The national park "Curonian Spit" due to its geographical location has a huge potential in organizing environmental programs for schoolchildren, but at the moment none of the ecological paths has the appropriate infrastructure to create an educational environment. The most important activities of the project include adapting the ecological route to preserve fragile forest ecosystems, as well as to enable all categories of visitors to visit the route, including wheelchair users, and conducting a cycle of experimental classes on ecological issues for children in accordance with the age and forms of disability.
Situation and background
The project will cover the area of the Russian part of the Curonian Spit National Park, unique nature protected territory stretching from Sambian Peninsula towards Lithuania and separating Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. The park is divided almost equally between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Lithuania and was listed as UNESCO World Nature Heritage sites since 2000. Total number of tourists visiting the Spit every year is ca. 0,5 million people. However, currently the environmental infrastructure of the Spit is not well prepared for constantly growing tourism flow, as settlements are lacking proper municipal wastewater treatment and waste management systems. Neither the ecotrails are equipped with relevant sanitary infrastructure – existing ones are not capable to accommodate the load and not well-maintained. In addition, the Spit is lacking infrastructure to provide equal access to nature values for people with various functional disabilities. Given high recreational value of the Spit and its unique nature and climate condition, the park may become even more important in providing services of rehabilitation and medical tourism for various vulnerable groups of population.
Project activities and effects
- The goal of the project is a formation of ecological consciousness and the development of the ecological culture of schoolchildren (including children with disabilities) by creating an educational environment on the ecological path "Royal Forest" in the national park "Curonian Spit".
- protecting the ecoroute with wooden decks to preserve fragile forest ecosystems, as well as for visiting all categories of visitors, including wheelchair users;
- installation of information stands for conducting ecological and educational classes for children and for self-study by visitors to the park;
- developing a cycle of methodical classes of ecological orientation in accordance with the age and forms of disability of children and organizing 10 experimental field classes for children, including children with disabilities;
- preparing a case for replication of children's learning experience, incl. With the disability of ecology in the reserves with an accessible environment by the Protected areas' system of Russia
- adaptation of the ecological route to preserve fragile forest ecosystems, as well as for visiting all categories of visitors, including wheelchair users;
- creation of methodical classes of ecological orientation in accordance with the age and forms of disability of children;
- training of specialists in the methods of conducting classes on ecological paths for children with disabilities;
- conducting out-of-school educational activities for children, including those with disabilitiesin the national park "Curonian Spit";
- carrying out the Olympiad for participants of visiting sessions;
- promotion of developed materials among stakeholders and the public;
- carrying out a roundtable discussion;
- promotion of a created video clip for about the implementation and results of the project.
- ecological route to preserve fragile forest ecosystems are adapted and functioning for all categories of visitors, including wheelchair users.
- information stands for conducting ecological and educational classes for children and for self-study by visitors to the park were installed.
- knowledge and skills in ecological orientation in accordance with the age and forms of disability of children are improved and 10 experimental out classes for children, including children with disabilities are conducted.
- increased awareness amongst a large part of visitors in achieved experience in the Russian federal system of Protected areas.