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Good Practice

Invitation to the Forest

The objective of the "Invitation to the Forest" project is the development of a personal attitude to nature, familiarization with the consequences of storms, identification of their causes, perception of changes. The project is designed in the form of workshops in the vicinity of kindergartens and schools. Participants will learn about the language of nature, forest, medicinal herbs, causes and consequences of climate changes, etc. The fact that there are four municipalities joined in the project will provide an opportunity to get to know different environments and exchange experience as well as to give the project greater visibility. In addition to its education value, the project is also promotional. By organising events at schools, kindergartens and in public places, by publishing a leaflet and posters, by preparing a short film and a photography exhibition in nature as well as by presenting the project at 6th forest pedagogy congress, we would like to encourage all citizens of our municipalities and beyond to reflect on the negative consequences of our way of life and our activities affecting the environment and to take action to improve the situation.

Aims

The main goals of the project are: - identifying climate change effects and understanding their causes (identifying and understanding consequences of storms, pollution of nature and environment, atmospheric warming); - learning about natural processes, explaining the functioning of the forest as an ecosystem, the importance of forests in the carbon cycle, presenting the forest as a CO2 sink; - explaining sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental aspects using forest management as an example; - showing interdependence between the quality of life and preservation of nature and the environment; - improving the relationship between man and nature, enhancing the feeling of connection with nature, developing respect for nature; - developing a critical attitude to people's activities affecting the environment; - encouraging creativity in nature by experiential learning; - learning about different environments, exchange of experience and strengthening friendly ties; - learning by playing; - developing moral and ethical conscience and responsibility to nature and environment.

A new goal emerged - "Monday in the Forest", which is a challenge for an independent life of the project after its completion as well as a platform for developing contents that the project demands as regards climate change and the importance of the forest in this context. Some schools and kindergartens have already started implementing "Monday in the Forest". The project has spread to the neighbouring municipalities and is supported by the National Education Institute as an innovative project. As a side product of the Invitation to the Forest a new tourist project has emerged - forest trekking. Taking tourists to our forests will create added value in tourism (medicinal, adventurous, educational, unique). We are thinking of "Forest Kindergarten" and are acting towards a legislative amendment that would enable childcare in an open learning environment.

Realization

Arrangements on the implementation of the project, organisation and preparation of the workshops (in total 6 meetings of the working group and coordinators). There were ten presentations in municipalities, schools and kindergartens. We participated at Veronika's festival in Kamnik. We presented the project at the Forest Pedagogy Congress in Freising. In Kamnik and Bovec we planted two herb gardens that some pupils are already using as "a classroom". There were workshops in kindergartens (21), schools (22), workshops for professionals (9). Methodology for the evaluation of the project was drawn up. The project featured in the media several times. We had several meetings with the National Education Board as regards the cooperation and their support for the project - they listed it as an innovative project. All the activities are photographically documented and two films have been made. A new Facebook page "Monday in the Forest" has been created, where we will post new information, share opinions and announce events.

Impact

When the project began, we were pleasantly surprised by the good response it received on the part of schools and kindergartens. It has attracted a lot of volunteers (students, scouts, etc). A new goal emerged - "Monday in the Forest", which is a challenge for an independent life of the project after its completion as well as a platform for developing contents that the projects demands as regards climate change and the importance of the forest in this context. "Monday in the Forest" means that every Monday, regardless of the weather, is spent in the forest. Hereafter the project will be directed into working with teachers at promoting Monday in the Forest and permanent learning in nature. The project has already spread to some neighbouring municipalities and is supported by the National Education Board as an innovative project. It now encompasses schools and kindergartens from all four municipalities.

Location

Kamnik, Bovec, Kranjska Gora, Bohinj

Involved

The project is carried out by the municipalities of Bovec (coordinator - Patricija Muršič), Bohinj (co.- Milena Košnik), Kranjska gora (co.– Vida černe) and Kamnik (co.– Barbara Strajnar).
The following organisations engaged as volunteers so far: Municipalities of Bovec, Bohinj, Kranjska gora and Kamnik, foresters, scouts, MCK Kamnik, Turizem Bohinj, forest pedagogy experts (mag. Natalija Gyorek, Jaka Šubic, Manca Irt, Irena Dokl, Taja Brinovec, primary schools (Frana Albrehta, Toma Brejca, Šmartno, Stranje, Josipa Vandota , Toneta čufarja, 16. december Mojstrana, dr. Janez Mencinger - Bovec), kindergartens (Antona Medveda Kamnik, Bovec, Josipa Vandota, dr. Janez Mencinger), National Education Institute, volunteers.

Financing

dynAlp-climate: 20.000€

Project costs

40'000.00 Euro

Contact person

Občina Kamnik
Barbara Strajnar
Glavni trg 24
1240 Kamnik / SI
Phone number: +386 183 181 23
E-mail: barbara.strajnar@kamnik.si
Website: http://www.kamnik.si