Silesian Park in Chorzów is one of the biggest city parks in Europe. An oasis of green in the middle of Upper Silesia agglomeration that’s home to several million people and the most industrialized part of the country. The Park is important for those living in the region and many are engaged in caring for it. In 2011, as a part of a grassroot initiative, a senior volunteering program was implemented. It still operates today. But regardless of such positive examples, the research from the Regional Center for the Social Policy for Silesia Voivodeship showed that only four percent of seniors are active in any kind of organization. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the youth, generally more active in the field of volunteering but having very little contact with nature.
We would like to create an inter-generational volunteering program focused on environmental protections and the Silesia Park as our answer to the described problem. We will have a series of workshops for the youth and the seniors that will focus on environmental protection practices, and we will engage them in cleaning patrols around the park. We will also monitor the air pollution levels and the influence of the neighboring towns on the fauna and flora of the park. The participants of the workshops will spend the entire year monitoring the pollution in the park, completing tasks such as caring for plants and feeding animals during their weekly patrols. Their actions and conclusions from their observations will be passed along to the local authorities on an ongoing basis.
The Park Foundation will be our partner in the project. We have been collaborating since 2018. The foundation has workshop space as well as equipment (binoculars, microscopes, bikes) necessary for our monitoring work in the park. What is more, the Silesia Park Foundation has all the necessary permits for work in the park and using its resources.