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Official opening of info-centre “Belozem – European Stork Village”

Official opening of info-centre “Belozem – European Stork Village”

25.09.2019
The Information Center was established by ‘Prosveta 1909’ Community Center, Belozem mayor’s office and Rakovski municipality, with the support of Green Balkans.

The opening ceremony of Information Center “Belozem – European Stork Village” in Belozem was  held on September 23rd at 6:30 PM at the village’s central square, in front of the former community services building where the centre is hosted. The event was attended by Rakovski Municipality Mayor while local priest blessed the centre. Speeches by Mayors of Rakovski Municipality and Belozem village were complemented by Green Balkans representative who also handed a certificate to a local child that saved a stork chick during the summer. The center was created by ‘Prosveta 1909’ Community Center (village of Belozem) in partnership with the Belozem mayor office and Green Balkans as part of an international project funded by the German EuroNatur Foundation (www.euronatur.org). Rakovski Municipal Council granted the Community Center premises for the Information Center. The event was part of the traditional “Family meeting” Festival 2019 (21-23 September).
 
The Info-center will present to Belozem guests interesting facts about the beloved  birds and the initiative “European Stork Villages” that currently unites 15 villages from 15 countries. In 2005, the village was included in the European Stork Villages Network by the EuroNatur Foundation (www.euronatur.org). Since then, the local communities, represented by the Mayor’s Office, the Community Center, the Geo Milev Secondary School (whose roof is home to colony of 20 stork nests) and others, have executed conservation activities for the storks and their habitats, many of which were pilot for the country: marking with colour rings and satellite transmitters, restoration of habitats, cleaning and safeguarding of nests, etc. In 2015 a “Local Action Plan for the European Stork Village of Belozem” was developed envisaging diverse actions including establishment of a Stork Museum in Belozem. Today, one of the goals of the Action Plan is achieved and in the Information Center - exhibition of photos, models, info-boards and other information materials present to visitors different facts for one of the most beloved bird species - the White Stork and the European Stork Villages Network. The centre will benefit environmental education inn the region through out-of-class activities.
 
Consistent work in this direction got recognition in 2019 when the traditional White Stork Festival, held annually in Belozem, was associated with the official programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019.

For further contacts:
Elena Uzunova - ‘Prosveta’ 1909 Community Center (village of Belozem) phone: +359 898771097; e-mail: prosveta-1909@abv.bg
Dimitar Popov - Green Balkans phone: +359 885108712; e-mail: dpopov@greenbalkans.org