THE CLOSING event Forestry Days in Slovakia was an opening – the 8th season of the open-air Forestry Museum in the Vydrovská dolina valley near Čierny Balog. Forestry Days – now in its fourth year in Slovakia – was connected with the celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity which started on April 23 and ended on May 1 with events at various locations such as Kežmarok and the High Tatra National Park after the festive opening celebration held at SNP Square in Zvolen on April 22. Other key sites taking part in this year’s event were Bratislava and Košice.
In drafting their programme, the organisers of Forestry Days followed the motto of the international event ‘Biodiversity Is Life – Biodiversity Is Our Life’ but modified it for Slovakia to be ‘Forests Are the Pillar of Our Life’. In addition to teaching about the importance of forests in the ecosystem, the events of Forestry Week sought to build protective values among young people and to strengthen citizens’ emotional bonds and attitudes towards the forests of Slovakia.
About 3,000 visitors attended the opening of the Forestry Museum on April 29 including officials from the Agriculture Ministry, Lesy SR (the Slovak forestry agency), public enterprises, and the National Forestry Centre in Zvolen.
“Experts have said – and this does not go for just today – that the development and promotion of forestry education at schools is inescapable. It is demanding – but contact with children and the general public is very important,” Veronika Petríková of Lesy SR told the TASR newswire after the opening of the museum.
Visitors enjoyed performances by the folklore group Kýčera from Čierny Balog and the Vodopád country band and learned more about the activities of the Vydra civic association from Čierny Balog.
The open-air museum had its debut in 2002 and last year welcomed more than 50,000 visitors from 25 countries from as far away as the US, Canada, Japan and Iran. People can travel to the museum via the Čierny-Hron forest railway (Čiernohronská lesná želez-nička). The museum’s goal is to showcase the work of foresters – in the past as well as in the present.
The museum covers an area of 140 hectares, 116 hectares of which are forested at elevations from 550 metres to 850 metres. The museum includes the EKO GALLERY, a symbolic forest cemetery, an exhibition housed in an original gamekeeper’s lodge, an information centre, and a map showing the density of Slovakia's forests.
24. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff