In autumn 2013, four representatives of the Czech Naturefriends took part in the kick-off seminar to the “Water:Trails” campaign, which was organised by Naturefriends International in Spital am Pyhrn, Austria. After getting more familiar with the aims of the campaign and measures used to fulfil them, Naturefriends Czechia also joined the campaign and prepared a one-year project, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.
Started in April, the Czech version of “Water:Trails” has been run by three local Naturefriends groups in three different regions of Czechia. The target group being mostly children in school age, the activities were also appreciated by adults who participated in some of the events. How does the campaign look like in Czechia?
Each of the local groups prepares at least 3 one-day events using the materials from the Water:Rucksack and some “local” stuff, too. The events are publicly promoted so that everyone who likes can join them. Several special localities were chosen, localities where there are rare species and that can be reached by public transport. Naturefriends Czechia wants to show that one can spend his/her free time in nature in a meaningful way, in good company, for a cheap price and without a need to travel by car.
The subjects of interest were the biotopes in the middle of wilderness as well as those next to a city’s borders; places where people rarely go or that are preserved as well as quite ordinary ones which are normally passed over. It showed the participants that nature is everywhere, not only somewhere in a forest.
There is also a special website to the project: www.pratele-prirody.cz/voda-zaklad-zivota with a short summary of the topic and methods, invitations to the events, press releases and good-practice examples, as well as some pictures taken at the events.
The project terminates in November when also the final report with good-practice examples will be published. But already now it can be said that the “Water:Trails” campaign has its friends within the Czech Naturefriends’ movement and will be continued by some other local groups that the Water:Rucksack will be passed on to for their own researches.
Coordinator of the Czech campaign “Water:Trails”