Educational trail to be opened at brod na kupi

Prospekt Događanja

Photo 1: Snow-covered entrance to the educational trail in the yard of
Fran Krsto Frankopan Elementary School


In April of 2011, PI “Priroda” began with the
implementation of SOŽITJE, a project co-funded by the EU and the 2007-2013
IPA Operational Programme Slovenia-Croatia. The project involves four
partners, two from Slovenia: Ljudska Univerza Kočevje (Adult Education
Centre of Kočevje), the leading partner, and Zavod za gozdove Slovenije
(Slovenia Forest Service), and two from Croatia: Risnjak National Park
and PI “Priroda”. The Project will end on 31 March 2013.

As part of the project, PI “Priroda” has designed
and set up “The Way of the Bear”, an educational and didactic
trail dedicated to bears, in which the features of Gorski Kotar are linked
to the life of the bear. The trail takes visitors through a lovely orchard
of old, native types of fruit trees in the immediate vicinity of Fran
Krsto Frankopan Elementary School and a small river called Kupica. The
aim of the trail is to teach visitors about the basic characteristics
and habits of bears, and to help modify the adverse attitude of people
towards bears. The orchard through which the trail passes presents a collection
of old, indigenous types of fruits trees, mostly apple and pear trees,
that are today rare in Gorski Kotar, and the fruits of which bears sometimes
enjoy eating. The second half of the trail will be on the Slovenian side
of the border.

For the needs of the international SOŽITJE Project, 1000
copies of a tri-lingual brochure entitled In the Homeland of the Bear:
Kupa Valley and Gorski Kotar Seen through the Eyes of the Rulers of Highland
Forests were printed. The brochure supplements the installations set up
along the educational trail, and it gives a summary of the basic results
of research conducted during the project. In addition to the Croatian
language, all chapters of the brochure have been translated into the Slovenian
and English language. Like the educational trail, the brochure has an
educational role, and it primary aim is to raise the awareness of people
in areas in which bears range, that is, in the “homeland of the bear”,
which stretches across both sides of Kupa River, and to help create a
positive attitude towards the coexistence of people and bears. Written
from the viewpoint of a bear, the brochure provides basic facts about
the bears of Gorski Kotar and the environment in which they live.

The opening ceremony of the educational trail and the
brochure launch will begin at noon on 16 March in the premises of Fran
Krsto Frankopan Elementary School at Brod na Kupi.

Photo 2: A part of the educational trail, displaying the distribution
of bear species around the world.