March for Parks

 
The March for Parks – the international campaign initiated by the Biodiversity Conservation Center and aimed at gaining public support of specially protected nature territories - has been held annually since 1995 in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Armenia and Central Asian countries. The key organizer and coordinator behind the March for Parks is the Biodiversity Conservation Center that encourages campaign events in Russia and CIS countries.  The Center worked out the campaign’s conceptual foundation, emblem and development strategy. The March for Parks involves annually hundreds of thousands of participants. Over 200 CIS governmental organizations and NGOs render their help to the Center in organizing local marches. The campaign is supported by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and associated ministries in CIS countries.


On a yearly basis, dozens of charity funds, TV channels, radio programs and publishing houses help the Center prepare for the event. The most popular events held within the framework of the March for Parks campaign include: roundtables and press conferences, festivals and concerts, excursions and volunteer cleanups, programs devoted to nature conservation. 

More detailed information about the international campaign “March for Parks” can be found on the Biodiversity Conservation Center’s website

What events can be held within the framework of the March for Parks campaign?


Roundtable on specially protected nature territories (SPNT)  in your district or locality with local authorities (e.g. administration representatives), state environmental bodies (forestries, environmental protection committees, etc.) and other educational institutions (Local Education Authorities, schools).
 

Invite various GOs and NGOs (not necessarily environmental) to participate in events targeted at supporting specially protected nature territories. For a start, they may take part in events organized by you.  

Excursion to the nearby specially protected nature territory. The excursion can be targeted at children (schoolchildren, members of study groups and clubs) and grownups (local residents, school teachers, etc.).

Talk devoted to the issue of specially protected nature territories. The talk can be organized for schoolchildren in homerooms, biology classes or at study group gatherings.  A competent representative of a governmental or environmental organization might be invited to participate in the talk.  

Ecology Days and Weeks at schools. SPNT-oriented biology classes can be held during these days (weeks). Combined with a series of environmental events, other classes (physics, chemistry, mathematics, history, geography) can also be ecologized.

Eco-films exhibition (preferably SPNT-oriented) at schools, study group gatherings, clubs, in movie theatres, on TV channels. These can be short eco-films, films devoted to various environmental issues and programs addressing and highlighting SPNT issues.

Children’s Environmental Conference featuring SPNT-oriented reports can be held at schools, clubs, in districts.

Eco plays for children.
 These plays are especially popular with preschool- and junior schoolchildren, though if selected correctly (plays with psychological training elements), they might as well involve seniors.

Various Children’s Contests can be held, including SPNT-oriented drawing, poster, photography, verse and report contests.

Trivia games for children should feature questions about specially protected nature territories from different spheres – nature reserves, zoology, botany, ecology and nature protection.  

Evenings and concerts including various amateur art events: spectacles, verse recitals, songs, etc.  

Thematic exhibitions at libraries, museums, schools. Various ads of the event (in a local newspaper, in public places) will help attract more visitors and participants.

Seminars for resource specialists and school teachers on SPNT issues.  

Ecological labor crews in specially protected nature territories. The crews’ participants (schoolchildren, students, local residents, volunteers, etc.) can clean up the territory, install and replace street name plates and carry out other territory improvements.  

Laying down and improving ecotrails.  
 

Publishing articles in press media (newspapers, magazines). Apart from raising public awareness of SPNT issues, articles should contain valid facts, e.g. cases of strict protection regime violation or stories about nature territories. 

Distribution of press releases in print media and information agencies.  It tops the list of measures for large cities with a variety of media sources. 

Press conferences on SPNT issues are also effective in large cities with a variety of media sources.

Inviting journalists to participate in various events may also be very useful – your environmental protection efforts will be made public, which may entail the increase in the number of your supporters and protagonists. 

Public opinion polls are carried out to assess the attitude of local population to specially protected nature territories.

Collection of signatures in support of definite specially protected nature territories is carried out in case of urgent SPNT issues (unlawful building and development activity in the territory). Such public letters should address the person or organization (it may as well be the administration of the locality or district) in charge of the issue.  

Pickets, marches, information centers are usually organized close to places with the largest concentration of population which easies the task of spreading information on SPNT issues among as many people as possible. 

Installing bird boxes (nesting boxes, log houses, nest platforms, etc.).

Planting trees and greenery is better carried out before the leaves on trees appear, provided the ground is already free of snow in April.  

 

Letters to sponsors. Applications for SPNT financing and events in support of SPNT.

Collection of charity resources for definite SPNTs  may be carried out in the course of benefit events, via addressing various organizations with the call to support SPNTs. The key rule for collecting resources is a clear-cut vision of its future distribution (street name plates, materials for children’s amateur arts, contest prizes, etc.). 

Trade fair of children’s handcrafted items is also a very effective means of collecting money to support definite SPNTs.  


This list of events organized to support SPNTs is not full – it may be easily expanded.

 



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