On the 6th of December, 2017 European Wilderness Society conducted English-speaking teens club meeting, hosted by the Window on America Uzhhorod. It was a pleasure to discuss with very motivated, active and smart youth topics of Wilderness and its significance in general, in Europe and particularly in Transcarpathia as well as to learn more about climate change, protected areas and volunteering opportunities there. Also young travellers were informed about Leave No Trace approach, originating from US.
Even if the young club participants knew about Hoverla mountain, Daffodil valley and the Center of Europe, is was interesting for them to learn that these great objects are located on the territory of the Carpathian Biosphere reserve, biggest protected area of Ukraine, containing also Uholka Wilderness, part of the European Wilderness Network.
They visited Synevyr lake, the biggest lake in the Carpathians, and the Bear rehabilitation center, but didn´t know that they are part of the National Nature Park Syneyr.
It was interesting to learn that the dippiest sphagnum peatbog in Ukrainian Carpathians Chorne Bahno is located on the territory of the first certified Wilderness in the Ukraine, National Nature Park “Zacharovanyy kray” and that the beavers are doing there a lot of nature conservation activities.
The part of the Trilateral International Biosphere Reserve National Nature Park Uzhanskyy, located only in 60 km from Uzhhorod in the valley of the river Uzh, fascinated them with its 1000 year old oaks and the touristic attractions.
During the meeting teenagers also learned how the beech tree looks like and that the Primeval Beech forests of all four protected areas of Transcarpathia are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tremendous interest created a topic of the large carnivores, coexistence and encounter with them as well as the nature balance and connections in ecosystems. But for detailed discussion of this important topic another meeting should be scheduled.
Solidification of knowledge and additional information about Wilderness is now available for club members in the presented to each of them Wild 5 educational journal, developed and issued by the European Wilderness Society.
The meeting was also attended by representative of the Department of Ecology and Natural resources of Transcarpathian Regional State Administration, Dmytro Tomenchuk, Wilderness advocate and supportive partner of the European Wilderness Society.
Another partnership possibility was discussed with newly arrived Peace Corp volunteer, who already has experience working in US National Parks.
We also appreciate our partner relationship with the Window on America Uzhhorod and already scheduling further joint educational events with its staff!