Installation of the flooring on the hiking trail (photo Gorelovskaya)
Trash collection along the boundary of the reserve
Tourists help a researcher to measure the width of a river
Students helped to set up bird houses (photo by Yazykov)
Clearing of the hiking trail (photo by Muravyova)
Schoolchildren from Bor are collecting trash on the banks of the Kerzhents River (photo by Soima)
Cleaning of the territory after the repair of the Environmental Centre (photo by Yazykov)
Treatment of the decking on the ecotrail with an anti-rotting composition (photo by Muravyova)
Volunteers have been involved in the work of the reserve since its early years. Volunteer groups of environmental protection teams from Nizhny Novgorod, Dzerzhinsk, and Arzamas provide assistance in patrolling the territory, carrying out economic activities, scientific research, and environmental education activities. Pupils and teachers, students, family groups, children from the Bor Psychoneurological Boarding School take part in equipping and clearing hiking trails, improving the territory of the Eco-Park and the Environmental Centre.
2018 is the year of Volunteering in Russia. We invite volunteers to the Kerzhensky Nature Reserve.
Questionnaire for a volunteer from the Kerzhensky Nature Reserve
The Kerzhensky Nature Reserve has been working with volunteers since the first years of its establishment, in 1993. These are mainly school and student groups. At first, it took a lot of time and effort to clean up the protected area. Volunteers collected and took away many funnels left after the forest was planted and they cleaned up several dumps in the reserve's territory. Pupils of the Rustai School under the guidance of teachers have made the first full house of the reserve. Students from the Nature Conservation Team of Nizhny Novgorod State University named after Lobachevsky annually help the scientific department to conduct winter route census of game animals.
Recently, apart from schoolchildren and students, the Kerzhensky Reserve has been visited by corporate and family groups of volunteers. For example, in 2012, members of the Extreme-NN club in Nizhny Novgorod helped to clear the patrol road and dismantle leaking sections of the pontoon bridge. All the participants of this one-day trip (40 people!) got to the reserve by their own vehicles. In gratitude, the employees of the Environmental Education Department conducted an educational tour for the volunteers.
We always try to make sure that the volunteers are rewarded for their work. Each of them receives souvenirs from the reserve, and organizations receive letters of appreciation, and volunteers who have made a special contribution receive personal acknowledgements.
Every year, from 20 to 110 people visit the Kerzhensky Reserve as volunteers. Until recently, the work was spontaneous: volunteers applied for it, and we started looking for something to do for them. This is not an effective form of work. It is much better when volunteers come exactly when they are needed and there is a certain work for them.
There is another problem that needs to be solved in organizing the work with volunteers, i.e. the accommodation of groups willing to help for several days. In the near future, one of the administrative buildings of the reserve is to be made a Volunteer Centre. For more than twenty years of existence of the Kerzhensky Reserve, a certain number of organizations have been formed, with which constant cooperation is conducted. These are the Nature Protection Team of Novosibirsk State University, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Environmental Organization "Green Sail", the military-patriotic club "Shield", the Bor department of the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation, schools № 10 and № 8 in Bor, the Nizhny Novgorod Centre for Social Assistance to Families and Children "Zhuravushka", the Bor psycho-neurological boarding school. Work with them is based on the following scheme. The Environmental Education Department regularly collects information from the Security Department and the Scientific Department about where they need help from volunteers. If the work is urgent, we make an inquiry to this or that organization with the offer to come and help.
We would like to note in particular the work as volunteers of activists from the Bor psycho-neurological boarding school Cooperation with them started recently but turned out to be very productive. Of course, work where special skills are required cannot be assigned to the guys, but physically they work just fine. At the same time, the cooperation is mutually beneficial. The reserve does not have to provide neither transfer nor meals. The guys come by joint agreement when the reserve needs it. Clients of the psychoneurological boarding school, in turn, get an opportunity to enrich themselves with new impressions, breathe fresh air, and feel important to society. Their teachers are provided with methodological materials developed by the reserve's staff.
In recent years, volunteers in the Kerzhensky Reserve assisted in patrolling the territory, clearing patrol roads, collecting firewood for the boiler room of the Environmental Centre, carrying out winter accounting of animals, arrangement of hiking trails, improvement of the territory of the Environmental Park and administrative buildings.
Currently, the staff of the Kerzhensky Reserve is trying to reach a new level of work with volunteers. We are maintaining old contacts and establishing new ones. On the basis of the Environmental Centres in the town of Rustai and in Nizhny Novgorod there are classes for young natural scientists, who are present and future assistants of the reserve. Deputy Director for Security carries out active propaganda work in the Internet on forums of motorists, hunters, and fishermen, engages new volunteers in joint environmental protection activities. We are currently developing a Volunteer Policy to regulate our cooperative activities.
We would very much like volunteers to come to the aid of not only the Security Department, but also the Scientific and Environmental Education Departments, and not only in the town of Rustai and directly in the reserve, but also in the Environmental Centre in Nizhny Novgorod. It would be good to see more people with special skills among the volunteers. So far, such volunteers are rarely seen here, and it is a pity. Firstly, by helping someone, you get moral satisfaction, secondly, the reserve means fresh air (and not only!), and thirdly, the reserve means the staff who can and are glad to share their knowledge and experience with people who want to contribute to the conservation and study of reserved nature.
2018 IS THE YEAR OF VOLUNTEERING IN RUSSIA. WE INVITE VOLUNTEERS TO THE KERZHENSKY RESERVE (Russian version for viewing and downloading)