Environmental Education Centre

Environmental Education Centre
Photo by I. Bartashov

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Internship of Moscow Pedagogical
State University students

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Marshes museum

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Marshes tour trail
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Sowing the crane field

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Farewell, we'll meet again! 

There is an ancient marshes land in the north of Moscow region called "Crane Land". Despite the development of Moscow region, there are still places where cranes nest and 1,500 birds gather here in September before the migration. This area is crucial for conservation of the biodiversity of the entire region and is recognized as a wetland of international importance(Ramsar shadow list) and a Key ornithological territory in Russia. 


Biological station of "Crane Land" reserve in Dmitrovka village hosts an environmental education BirdsRussia Centre , a large area with a garden, a wetland courtyard and a complex of buildings, where a museum expostion devoted to birds and marshes is located, alongside with guest rooms, laboratory, canteen and kitchen. 


It's been a long time since the reserve started attracting not only cranes in the beginning of Septermber. A lot of nature lovers come to observe this unusual sight — the Crane festival takes place in the reserve. Scientists of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and Russian Academy of Sciences organizes tours where children and adults can observe through binoculars and telescopes crane flocks, eating and resting in the meadows and fields of the reserve. Every year furing the festival this area and BirdsRussia Ecocentre is visited by about 2,000 people, in 2017 — about  4,000. 


Awards became the recognition of our long-term work: in November, 2016 Crane festival won a Russian competition organized by the Ministry of Culture. We took the first prize in "Ecotourism" nomination. 


BirdsRussia Ecocentre serves as a field base for biological class students of 179 Moscow school. From the end of May to the beginning of July Ecocentre holds internships of Moscow Pedagogical State University and Dubna University students and in winter Taldom school children and children from Brotherhood of Orthodox pathfinders work there. Young people participate in the surveys of the reserve, the installation of information boards, learn to navigate in the forest and to provide first aid. After visiting the reserve they make reports for the regional ecological conferences. 


Ecological campaigns and festivals. Folk tradition to leave a strip of grain for the birds became the basis of folk ecological festival "Sowing of the crane field". The festival was created to attract people's attention to the revival of agriculture, so importand for people and birds. And now every year school children from the entire Taldom district come to the reserve to manually sow the crane field. The field is not mowed and that's where cranes begin to gather in autumn. The main organizer of the sowing – Nicolo-Kropotkinskaya high school. Children's folklore Veresen group  of Taldom liceum is the main participant of this event. 


In 2014 the first Owl festival was held, supported by BirdsRussia, among others. The goal of this festival is to bring together different people: biologists, ornithologists, artists, photographers, creative people and just sympathizers. The program of the festival includes fair-sale of handcraft on the owl theme, creative workshops, photo exhibition, painting the house by artists, a tour with ornithologists in the reserve, making houses for owls, a story about the biology of owls and their behavior in the wild. In 2017 more than 300 people visited the festival. 


Every year Crane Land Reserve finds new friends and supporters, including young people, volunteers and young naturalists, which means that there are more of us. 



Head of the Ecocenter — chair of the Moscow regional branch, member of BirdsRussia board Olga Sergeevna Grinchenko (info @ craneland.ru). 

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