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28.09.16

“Protecting Thyme at Samarskaya Luka” - it is the new project of the Training Cente, which is being implemented with the support of Arconic Foundation in 2016 - 2017 years.

Inhabitants of big cities such as Samara, spend their free time even more often in nature. National Park "Samarskaya Luka" – it is the nearest large natural site that provides opportunities for recreation and communicating with wildlife. However, despite the efforts of the park employees, the existing infrastructure is unable to cope with the flow of visitors, in consequence of which unique plants are trampled and threatened with extinction.

"Molodetsky mound" is the most visited official tourist route of National Park. Its slopes are unique objects of nature - rocky steppe, where there are narrow local endemics, such as Thymus Zheguliensis. On this mountain top in total you can find over 200 species of plants, including rare and relics that have survived from the Ice Age. Thymus Zheguliensis due to its medicinal properties is rapidly disappearing in consequence trampling and gather. It is a taxon critically endangered I Categories. The population of Thymus could be saved if on a hillside ecological path will be created, which, in combination with information stands will allow to regulate the flow of tourists.

Currently the equipped ecological paths are not laid on the entire territory of the mound, where visitors go and this work is urgently required. Due to insufficient budgetary financing, National Park is unable to cope without the additional support. In this situation, the work of volunteers will become a real and significant contribution to the preservation of biodiversity for sustainable existence of natural complexes of Samarskaya Luka.

The aim of the project is to protect the disappearing unique plants of Samarskaya Luka - Thymus Zheguliensis and other endemics of rocky steppe (only about 200 species of plants), which suffer from human hands. To achieve this aim we are planning the creation and installation of the ecological path (300 m to protect approximately 12 acres of rocky steppe) along the slope "Molodetsky mound" by forces volunteers of Samara, Arconic Samara, students from partner schools of Arconic. Works include laying crushed stone mix, constructing a boarding, construction of recreational areas, the installation of two information stands with the logo of Arconic Foundation. For this purpose two large-scale environmental activities on the territory of natural monument "Molodetsky mound" of National Park "Samarskaya Luka" will be held with coordinated of the Administration of National Park. For engaging the population in the volunteering and to consolidate and popularisation of the idea of this project, we will conduct a large educational activities among 500 school students of partner Arconic Samara in the form of at least 20 seminars, which will be completed by the Competition of environmental research works. Also for dissemination of information about the Project the 500 colorful brochures about the problem of preservation of endemic species and their importance will be published. The certificates will be awarded to active participants of Project events and to the winners of Competition - prizes. The monitoring of the Project will be two geo-botanical researches of population Thymus Zheguliensis, which will be held before and after the an accomplishment of the ecological path on the monument "Molodetsky mound".

Project coordinator: Irina Zubkova 8 (996)7260602

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