Photo 1. Participants of the environmental and educational campaign “Pajasen”
(Tree of Heaven)
WORLD FOREST DAY
This year the celebration of World Forest Day coincided
with the annual environmental campaign “Invasive Woody Species Removal
– Tree of Heaven” which took place in a yard surrounding a house
in Opatija (the removal drive has been held at this same location for
two years running).
The campaign was headed by “Nikola Tesla” Elementary
School of Rijeka as part of a project entitled “Pupil – Citizen”.
One of the project’s many objectives is to raise awareness of the need
of conserving and protecting nature and the environment. Participating
alongside the higher-grade pupils of the school and their teacher, Orjana
Marušćić Štimac, were the police officers of the Prevention Department
of the Opatija Police Station, the representatives of PI “Priroda”
and the members of the international student organization AISEC. The Town
of Opatija and “Parkovi” Opatija provided logistics support.
Measuring of the tree-of-heaven specimens removed showed that in only
one season (removal was carried out for the first time last year) the
plants grew by more than three metres! The tree-of-heaven is a dangerous
invasive species because it pushes out indigenous species of forest vegetation.
What is disturbing is that in the Liburnia region it is spreading rapidly
and almost uncontrollably. During the removal campaign, the pupils encountered
an interesting phenomenon called fasciation, a coalescence of tree-of-heaven
stems, of which we will write more at some later date. You can read more
about the removal drive on the Web pages of the Police Directorate of
the County of Primorje and Gorski Kotar (http://primorska.policija.hr/MainPu.aspx?id=181974).
WORLD WATER DAY
For a number of years now, Public Institution “Priroda”
has been cooperating with the “Our Children” Association of
Rijeka and the Teaching Institute for Public Health. Together they annually
mark days linked to environmental and nature protection for the purpose
of educating citizens, in particular children and young people. This year
World Water Day saw the opening of an exhibition entitled “Water
and Energy”, which is also the theme of World Water Day in 2014.
The exhibition features photographs taken by the young members of the
“Our Children” Association. The event was accompanied by a musical
programme performed by the pupils of “Ivan Matetić Ronjgov”
Secondary Music School. A short questionnaire entitled Ecological Footprint
Calculator was handed out to pupils and all visitors. By answering the
questionnaire, they could get an idea of how sustainable their way of
life is and how much resources they use.
Photo 2. Because of its exceptionally resistant underground parts, the
tree-of-heaven is very difficult to uproot.
Photo 3. The exhibition celebrating World Water Day was opened to the
sound of music. Performing on the guitar is Toni Vidović
Photo 4. On the occasion of World Water Day, pupils filled out an Ecological