The project aims to strengthen the community by raising awareness of the local heritage and unique biodiversity of the primeval forest of Kočevski Rog as well as creating opportunities for non-formal education of children and youth (6-21 yrs) through experiential learning outdoors. It also aims to strengthen the collaboration and participation of local stakeholders (The forestry department, municipality, schools, local Scout groups, local environmental NGOs and interest groups).
In the primeval protected Kočevski Rog forest in South-eastern region of Slovenia.
The primeval protected Kočevski Rog forest is located in the region that is experiencing slow development of civic initiatives that are essential for preserving the unique and fragile ecosystem and biodiversity of the forest. The demographic structure of the local area is changing due to lack of opportunities for children and youth. We will address this by creating opportunities for locals and wider population with giving them a unique, non-formal learning experience immersed in nature, to connect with local natural adn cultural heritage, environment and the community. We want the Scout centre to become a beacon of environmental education in Slovenia.
It will strengthen it by collaborating with local stakeholders who will provide various experiences and content to supplement the programme. Connecting local NGOs and visitors (hiking club, conservationists, visitors of local Kočevje lake, hikers, cyclists, etc.) Collaborating with local schools to build up the environmental curriculum. Connecting with local food suppliers to provide meals for participants. Marking the cycling and hiking trail passing the Scout environmental centre which will serve as a base (it is the only built house in Kečevje forest). Including into the programme, local (also national) natural sights such as Rajhenav primeval forest. Setting up the Scout centre to become a major attraction and attract locals and having open days where locals can connect.
School children and youth from 6-19yrs, (also members of our Scout association) are actively developing personal values and attitudes and are susceptible to building deeper and personal bond with nature. We have expertise working with this age group and have delivered several projects on topic of natural environment and sustainability, involving local groups across the country.
Teachers and carers of school children, responsible for selection of school activities. The project will enable them to enrich the curriculum with experiential learning outdoors in nature.
Local stakeholders will benefit by collaboration with the environmental centre, which will strengthen the natural heritage and conservation in the area.
Families taking children to trips, hikes, explorations.
The project will be rolled out in 4 phases, each lasting for 3 months
1st phase - project group setup, materials preparation, engagement of stakeholders and local schools and kindergartens, training of youth forest guides who will deliver the programme, promotion activities.
2nd and 3rd phases - launch of the programme in the community, setting up the interactive educational trail around the Scout environmental centre, running the activities: educational environmental days, family camps, creating an interactive web portal, communication with the community.
The 4th phase will include in-depth evaluation of the project and plans for the future, dissemination of the results and sharing of good practices.
All who take part in the programme will develop a respectful attitude to nature and internalize care for it as one of their core values as well as understand the importance of nature conservation.
The project will strengthen collaboration of different stakeholders in the local community.
Programme of environmental education will have a positive impact on local communities and wider society’s attitude toward the natural environment and local heritage.
The project will have a positive impact on the sustainable development of the local community (by using local food and service suppliers).
All who take part in the programme will gain better awareness that time spent in pristine nature, without the technology has a positive effect on mental health and general wellbeing.
Pristine nature is Slovenia’s greatest asset. Children and youth are bombarded with information about nature conservation and environmental issues in general. At the same time as they feel informed, they have insufficient knowledge of the fact in this field (environmental propaganda often pictures one side of the story, often driven by hidden political or economic interests). So, we want to present the nature conservation problems and topics from various viewpoints that are supported by the scientific facts. We would use the opportunity to work with experts and create an open forum or a round table with a goal for participants taking part, to be able to make their own opinion about aforementioned topics, based on the facts.
Environmental education is one of the core values of our Scout organization. By delivering programmes in nature we encourage children and youth to care for and protect it. By teaching children to experience awe, we teach them respect and moral values. They come to understand that nature provides them with a classroom, a place to relax and recharge, teaches them about healthy lifestyle and about themselves, so they become motivated to be (pro) active in the local and national community. The Scout centre is also a “white spot” (place with no phone signal or internet) and an ideal place for a retreat with positive effect on mental health. It is the first such centre in Slovenia, to have its programmes included in the local community and local schools which will strengthen our connection.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Personnel costs 25.000 EUR
Training for local forest guides to deliver the programme at the centre 4.000 EUR
Transportation expenses and accommodation 3.000 EUR
Programme materials and didactic aids 2.000 EUR
Setting up an interactive learning trail with information boards and stamps 6.000
Webpage setup and management 2.000 EUR
Public relations and promotion materials 3.000 EUR
Office expenses 1.000 EUR
Indirect costs 4.000 EUR