Schedule of events celebrating International Mountain Day
EXHIBITION “HIDDEN WORLDS”
The annual photography exhibition will be held at the “Juraj Šporer” Art Pavilion in Opatija from 11 to 21 December 2014. Marking the International Decade of Biodiversity, the exhibition titled “Hidden Worlds” is a continuation of earlier photo exhibitions featuring the butterflies, flora and fauna of highland and mountain habitats in Gorski Kotar, and the Obruč, Učka and Velebit ranges, in particular those habitats and areas that are cultivated, or were cultivated until recently, through a variety of agricultural practices. Regrettably, such eco-systems are on the brink of disappearing across the entire County due to pronounced depopulation and the abandoning of mountain farming.
For a long number of years, similar photo exhibitions have been organized regularly in the County on the occasion of International Mountain Day. In cooperation with North Velebit National Park and nine outstanding nature photographers from the region, Public Institution “Priroda” has this year organized an exhibition featuring tiny worlds. As always, the Croatian Museum of Tourism in Opatija participated in setting up the exhibition. The photographs displayed present the diversity of hidden mountain micro worlds – various insects, spiders, amphibians, snails, plants, mushrooms and other interesting themes and details found in nature (Photo 1).
Some people experience the small, hidden worlds of nature through the prism of sciences such as biology and other natural sciences. To other people these tiny worlds are a personal discovery and inspiration, a glimpse at worlds that their minds can barely fathom, or perhaps a source of pure esthetical pleasure. And yet for a third group of people, these small worlds almost do not exist and go unnoticed.
Subtle observers of nature, the photographers fascinated by “hidden worlds” have produced photographs that are a testimony to the “small fragments of the hidden worlds” they have experienced and witnessed (regardless of whether they may belong to either the first or second group of people mentioned above). We made a selection of their “visions”, keeping in mind the third group of people, whom we want to convince of the existence of these tiny but immensely valuable hidden worlds…
Book launch: “U Crnom Lugu više nema praćki” (No More Slingshots in Crni Lug) by Alojzije Frković
In the Decade of Biodiversity, birds are a theme directly linked to the conservation of agricultural biodiversity and mountain farming. This year, Public Institution “Priroda” has published a book titled U Crnom Lugu više nema praćki (No More Slingshots in Crni Lug) that deals with the protection of birds. As we all know, birds are our friends and natural allies in our efforts to protect plants and crops (as well as forest trees) from pests. Very few books or other publications have been written about this topic in Croatia. This book is most likely the first of its kind in our County, making it all the more precious!
The official opening of the exhibition “Hidden Worlds” and the launching of the book “U Crnom Lugu više nema praćki” are scheduled for 11 December 2014 at noon at the “Juraj Šporer” Art Pavilion in Opatija (St. Jacob’s Park 1).
HUMANITARIAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGN – SPRUCE TREE SALE
In previous years, Public Institution “Priroda”, in cooperation with the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar, has organized campaigns to sell spruce trees that were felled at Trstenik mire, the only ombrotrophic bog habitat in Croatia, as a way of helping to revitalise and conserve the habitat. This year spruce trees will be cut on the semi-natural grasslands of Gorski Kotar, which are threatened by encroachment and loss of biodiversity because more and more people are leaving the countryside or abandoning traditional forms of animal husbandry and farming.
The campaign is carried out through the collaboration of the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar, the Delnice branch of the Croatian Forestry Society, Croatian Forest Enterprise Zagreb – Forest Administration Delnice, Klana Forest Area Office and Public Institution “Priroda”. Everyone who buys a spruce tree with also receive a card of thanks briefly describing the campaign’s purpose.
By buying spruce trees from the grasslands of Gorski Kotar you will be contributing to the work of Welfare Market “St. Elisabeth’s Bread” in Rijeka. The spruce trees will be sold at the Summer Stage in Opatija on Tuesday, 16 December beginning at 11 a.m.