Monday, February 24, 2014

Festa degli Alberi

We were very flattered to receive a hand-made invitation from the local primary school kids to attend the “Festa degli Alberi” (festival of the trees). This event was a celebration of environmental education held in the local woods. A number of people in the village know that we both worked for the National Forest Service in the USA. Plenty of adults were on-hand to applaud the bambini and the presentation which culminated in a symbolic tree planting. The kids put a lot of effort into the whole thing including nifty posters. They presented a “skit” wherein each child spoke a line of text about the forest and trees. Some had very long lines to remember! They sang, also, a couple songs. The kids' presentations were at a level of Italian we could understand well! Both primary and middle school kids contributed to the program.
I bambini della Scuola Primaria, Santa Domenica Talao
We believe the school program is excellent and they are taking strides to teach the kids new values that are needed in Calabria – respect for the land; values about not littering; learning that allowing or causing fires is not good. We have reported how littering is a problem throughout Southern Italy, as are the arsonists that start fires in the hills each summer. 

The Protezione Civile Nazionale is made up of volunteers who help fight small fires, provide first aid and ambulance services, etc. The agency operates the Canadair “fire planes” that do 95% of the fire fighting.


Fire prevention
The middle school kids brought some entertainment. In addition to these boys, the others brought their “harmonica” instruments that have a simple keyboard and a hose to blow into.





The Corpo Forestale dello Stato is a police agency that enforces natural resource laws. They arrested two men last year for arson nearby. Doug shared with the officer pictured here that he used to have a similar job.  







The Associazione Nazionale Forestali is, as best as we can tell, a non-profit organization that promotes protection and stewardship of the parks and forests of the country much as similar organizations do in the US.




Pre-schoolers want to help plant the trees!

The Italian agencies with responsibility for environmental affairs are different than in the US where vast tracts of land are owned by the national government. Here, much of the land is private, but the agencies control what people can do on their land such as logging or even cutting down a tree for firewood. Our entire village of Santa Domenica Talao is inside the Pollino National Park – the largest in the Italian park system that was started in the 1990’s to protect a native species of pine from extirpation. 


To My Friend the Tree

“Hold tight to this land
Grow more free than in a greenhouse
Touch the sky, bring it to us
Hold your dreams as high as you can
And if someone wants to rip you away
Give me a call”

6 comments:

  1. So cute!
    What a nice way to have a community activity with the children learning to cherish nature!

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  2. It was very nice, as is getting a nice comment from you.
    We keep on bloggin' even as people seem to prefer to stay on Facebook lately.....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I never joined the Facebook sect. :-)

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  3. Love the poem particularly;

    And if someone wants to rip you away
    Give me a call”

    Glad to see and hear of the community activities locally

    Helena

    ReplyDelete
  4. I tried to think of some way to make it rhyme in English, but I'm not a poet and I know it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Associazione Nazionale Forestali is, as best as we can tell, a non-profit organization that promotes protection and stewardship of the parks and forests of the country much as similar organizations do in the US.

    first aid training

    ReplyDelete

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