Birch forest to become attraction

Open-air Birchwood Ecological Museum to open in Mogilev District

By Sergey Kulyagin

The Belarusian Geographic Society’s Mogilev Department is joining the Public Council for Agro and Ecotourism in the Mogilev Region, with assistance from the German Federal Government’s Belarus Support Programme in implementing the new project. A birch forest has been chosen, being picturesque and unique, to have juniper trees growing alongside its birches over its 20+ hectare territory.

“Creating an ecological museum, we aim to shape the eco-education of citizens while promoting a careful attitude towards nature. We’re hoping to combine active leisure with ecological education, regulating the recreational burden at natural sites. The site could become a model for how to develop local territories and agro-ecotourism,” notes one of the authors of the project, Yuri Zhurov — a senior teacher at the Mogilev State University’s Chair for Geography and Environmental Protection.

Last year, specialists from Mogilev’s State University conducted much preparatory work to create a passport for the site and developed an experimental-ecological path. This April, the birch forest will be brought to order, with more young trees planted. An information sign will be installed near the car parking area, while a recreational zone will soon be equipped.

In summer, works will continue to develop recreational zones, with information boards installed and an ecological route laid and identified. This will begin at Lazenki agro-eco-estate, which is currently under construction. The World of Honey Ecological Museum will be set up there, in addition to another, dedicated to rural life. Tourists will be able to view beaver dams, a garden of stones and other interesting attractions.

The route will also boast 15 camp sites, with observation and recreation facilities. The educational eco-path will cover up to 3km, while an informative hiking trail will be up to 4km long. The route is to offer a two hour excursion for senior pupils or students while 30-40 minute excursions are to be organised for junior pupils on a 1km long section of the route.
Major works relating to the ecological museum are to be finished in August-September, with an opening ceremony scheduled for October 2011.

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