Quarantine restrictions have affected our lives, as many of the expected measures have been cancelled. Therefore, this year's European Cooperation Day celebration in Ukraine was a special event - on September 19, 2020, 30 trees were planted on the territory of the Skolivski Beskydy National Park.
Celebration of European Cooperation Day started several years ago its purpose being to promote the achievements of EU projects. In September, hundreds of events take place in different regions of Europe and neighboring countries, such as film festivals, concerts, running races, local markets, gastronomic fairs and much more. Our Programme joins the celebrations every year.
"On this day we used to have mass events such as concerts, festivals, workshops. Also, our competition for schools has become a tradition, with more than 100 children from the three countries taking part in the Final event every year. This year we wanted to have something interesting and memorable, but, under the conditions of COVID-19 pandemic, we had to respect some security-related restrictions,"
– explains Olga Parasotska, the Director of PBU Lviv Branch Office, which organized the celebration.
"By planting trees in the National Park, we make our small contribution to preserving the ecology of the Carpathians, but also commemorate the achievements of cooperation between our three countries, which is symbolized by these trees."
The cooperation we are celebrating on this day is not an abstract concept. These are kilometers of repaired roads, equipped hospitals, restored cultural and historical monuments, new opportunities created for learning, education and cross-border dialogue for the people on both sides of the EU border. Project results speak for themselves and the people who design and implement the projects can present their activities in the best way. This is the reason why local events are so important.
As many as five PBU projects are currently being implemented in the Skole raion, Lviv oblast, Ukraine. One of them is ProtectNature Project, which creates opportunities for ecological tourism in the Skolivski Beskydy National Park, in particular, by creating a tourist center, recently built here. Another project in Skole, MichaelandYouth, is constructing a Center for Culture and History for Youth, which will serve the needs of "education through work" programmes and become a venue of cultural activities. MountainTaste project is extremely interesting and popular in this area, its activities focused on searching for authentic recipes and the promotion of traditional Boyko cuisine. All these projects were actively involved in the event - National Park staff prepared a site for the future alley, teenagers from the MichaelandYouth project led by Fr. Mateusz Grohla planted trees and sang songs by the guitar, and the MountainTaste project team treated everyone to traditional Boyko dishes prepared by the hostess, Yaroslava Petrykiv. Two more local projects presented their activities, including SOSRESCUE project, which is dealing with improving the safety of tourism in the Carpathians, and ROSETTES, which is creating a network of Carpathian cultural centers (one of them is based in the Boyko heritage museum called "House in Hluboke"). The event was attended by the authorities’ representatives and residents of Skole.
"Trees and bushes of eight species have been planted on the alley; all of them are the natives of the Carpathians. In a few years they will grow into a real grove, will become a real ornament of this area. This is the imprint we will leave behind – just like this building of the shelter, where tourists will be able to leave their things, relax or hide from the rain… The same can be said about other projects - they all make tangible changes, they are something we can be proud of."
– said Vasyl Pryndak, the coordinator of the ProtectNature project.
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