Landscapes in protected areas: a workshop for young guardians of the environment

Prospekt News


Photo 1. YGE Workshop on landscapes in protected areas (Photo by Sunčica
Strišković)

LANDSCAPES IN PROTECTED AREAS: A WORKSHOP FOR YOUNG GUARDIANS OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Together with their mentors, the Young Guardians of the
Environment – seventh- and eighth-grade pupils of the Elementary Schools
Kozala, Belveder, Ivan Zajc and Zamet – participated in a workshop on
landscapes in protected areas. The workshop began with a short lecture
about the protected nature areas of Primorsko-Goranska County. The purpose
of the workshop in evaluating landscapes was explained through three examples.
The pupils and mentors were asked to study and fill out a questionnaire
concerning the evaluation of landscapes in protected/unprotected areas.
The filled questionnaires showed that Forest Park Golubinjak was the landscape
most visited by the pupils in the past year (probably due to a recent
school trip), followed by Učka Nature Park and Risnjak National Park.
Some pupils had also visited landscapes on the islands of Krk and Cres
(for example, the Tramuntana forest and Beli). An often-visited landscape
outside of Primorsko-Goranska County is the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The questionnaire revealed that YGE members often visit protected areas
and mostly have a positive experience of landscapes in protected/unprotected
areas. Their main complaints, however, refer to litter, noise, loose handrails
along trails, as well as to poorly marked and insufficiently safe trails.
Apart from a few exceptions, most of the participants gave a positive
rating to their experience of landscapes. The highlights of their visits
to landscapes include beautiful panoramas, peace and quiet, the beauty
of forests and meadows, the naturalness of landscapes, fresh air, caves,
rocks overgrown with flowers, etc.

Some 20 pupils and two YGE mentors took part in the workshop.
We wish to extend our warm thanks for their efforts and goodwill shown
in the workshop. The Public Institution Priroda has obtained vital feedback
from the questionnaire, in particular regarding the participants’ negative
observations of the landscapes. Action is already underway to improve
the safety of trails (loose handrails and poor signs) in Forest Park Golubinjak.