On January 31 in Bezhanitsy the 12th Children's Ecological Conference dedicated to World Wetlands Day was held.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2, this date is chosen to turn attention to the need to preserve such areas as rivers, streams, lakes and their shores, sea coasts, and of course bogs. Polistovsky and Rdeisky National nature reserves protect a part of the Polistovo-Lovatskaya bog system and therefore annually they provide events for this date.
This year the conference brought together 60 people: 9 teams - participants from the Pskov and Novgorod regions, teachers, a jury, and representatives of nature protected areas.
Welcoming speeches to the conference participants were given by the acting Director of the Polistovsky Reserve, Elena Perova, by deputy director of the Rdeisky Reserve for Ecological Education and Interpretation, Vera Zavyalova, and by the head of the Bezhanitsky District, Sergey Mikheev, who noted that the Polistovsky Reserve has long, close and effective collaboration with the administration of the Bezhanitsky District.
15 presentations were presented in three nominations – «Scientific and educational activity», «Ecological education activities», and «Environmental protection»
The most popular nomination was «Ecological education activities». There were presentations devoted to ecological tourism, birdwatching, working with public relations, including the work for prevention of spring grass fires. Of considerable interest was the report of the team from Veliky Novgorod, devoted to a survey about birds living in the city. The point of survey was - which birds the people of Novgorod know best, and which the least.
In the nomination «Scientific and educational activity», children presented reports about water quality assessment in rivers and springs and a study of the signs of anthropogenic impact on vegetation.
In the «Environmental protection» nomination only one report was presented. That was the project of information sources in popular social networks about the ecological situation in a village of Pskov Region.
Over the past 12 years, more than 700 people from 30 schools of the Pskov and Novgorod regions have taken part in children’s ecological conferences. These two are participants who have not missed a single year during all these times. They are the team of the Poddorie central library system and the team of Podberezensky school. Both of them are from the Pskov region. Additionally, new participants join the conference annually. This year one was the team from Pskov with the project of creating an ecological trail along the city river bank. On that trail visitors can learn about the anthropogenic impact on natural complexes and the functioning of the river’s ecosystem in a city
At the end of the conference, Konstantin Benken, a specialist from the ecological-biological center «Krestovsky Ostrov», St. Petersburg, conducted an interactive game about the microcosm found in an ordinary rain puddle.
All conference participants were awarded diplomas and souvenirs.
A photo exhibition of the Polistovsky bog and one of a photo-zone with its symbols - moose and sundew - were organized during the conference.
We thought that participation in the conference gave a chance for children to try for themselves to act as a researcher or ecological educator with people who are passionate about nature conservation ideas.