Digest June 2022

Summer is a time of warmth and vacations, and as a child, it is a carefree time of vacations and freedom! On the first day of summer in Serpukhov there was traditionally a holiday – Children’s Day. For two days, on the first and the second of June, it turned into a wonderful fairy-tale area with popular cartoon characters, animation, photo zones and attractions, where every child found something interesting for him or herself. On June 1, the festival was attended by experts of the Department of Environmental Education and Cognitive Tourism of Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve. The organizers set a very responsible task to be a part of the Professional Quest: to help the young participants in a fascinating journey through the stations and to acquaint them with different professions. Reserve specialists taught the children to be ecologists! Each participant solved riddles, answered difficult questions and, most importantly, helped sort out garbage – they separated plastic, glass, paper and metal for recycling. At other points of the quest you could learn about the work of a teacher, a sailor, a dentist and other professions. At the end of the quest those who have coped with all the tasks took part in the drawing of valuable prizes. A pleasant gift from Prioksko-Terrasnaya Reserve was certificates for visiting the ecological trail “The Way to the Bison” and souvenirs. Bison life-size dolls were the center of attention and took a lot of pictures with park guests. Only a small poodle, who was a little scared and barked at the furry beast, defending his mistress, was not happy. A dark cloud kept scaring the park’s guests for a long time and, in the end, it poured with abundant, but short and warm rain, which many in excitement did not even notice. A colorful show was held on the stage: vocal and choreographic groups performed and a memorable flash mob from the Marvel dance school took place. Then, beautiful animators dressed as Baba-Yaga, Masha and Dragon Gorynych worked with the audience, involving the children in the performance. Everyone from small to large amused themselves: some colored figures, others, with the help of magnetic fishing rods and sometimes helping with hands, fished in the pool, drew, danced, sang and laughed a lot. A large number of rides and workshops quickly and easily lifted the spirits of everyone in attendance. There was a lot of cotton candy and ice cream, which made the holiday fun and unforgettable!

Today “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” has launched an art project “Reserve: seasons”. The event is held within the framework of the celebration of the 77th anniversary of the Reserve’s foundation. Natalia Shpilenok, Deputy Director for ecological education, development and tourism: “It’s impossible to love something you haven’t seen and don’t know. The project is implemented in order to show the beauty and uniqueness of nature through artistic images. We are planning to hold four plein airs, according to the seasons. The project will be completed with the vernissage of the works of the participants, which will allow everyone to get acquainted with the harmonious and unique world of nature, seen through the eyes of children and transferred by the colors on the canvases. During the first visit, students of the Buzovkin Children’s Art School got acquainted with the Reserve and had a guided tour of the Museum of Nature. Children not only listened with interest to the story of Olga Kalinina, a leading expert on environmental education, but also asked a lot of questions, discussed the seen in the halls compositions. Some young artists were so imbued with the theme of birds that left to draw them from life. The rest of the guys went to paint on the pond near the Leshok House, a favorite place of many people. Then the students went on an exclusive nature reserve quest “In the footsteps of the bison. They had the honor to be the first to pass all the tests and immersed themselves in the fascinating world of nature. The quest went through the territory of the Central Manor and the Central Bison Nursery. Unlike the classic tour, the kids got information interpreted for their age and solved all the puzzles.  Natalia Shpilenok, Deputy Director for Environmental Education, Development and Tourism: “The quest excursion is an innovative form of excursion product. It combines the advantages of the quest, when the information is obtained by one’s own mind, and therefore better remembered, with the excursion, during which you can learn interesting facts and curious details in an interactive format, which is not written about in every source of information. Zakharova Irina Vladimirovna – teacher of Buzovkin Children’s Art School: “Traditionally at the end of each school year in June, our school organizes outdoor activities for its students. I think that today’s event is unique, because the fresh air is held in the nature reserve. Our first meeting was in a friendly atmosphere, and we are looking forward to more meetings.”

The story of this blind female bison, who lives her long and rich life in the Central Bison Nursery, is probably known to everyone who has been to the Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve. During the excursion on the ecological trail “The Road to the Bison” visitors are necessarily told about Mugdalen, while the heroine herself is resting somewhere nearby, looking before her with her wise whitish eyes. For the last few years of her life, the mighty bull Muugly lived in the same pen with her, and though the years behind both were already serious, one day, like a thunderbolt out of the blue, on April 29, 2018, a heifer daughter was born to this age-old couple. They named her Murashka. Murashka spent her childhood with her parents, spending a lot of time with her father, who watched over her and protected her: she was “daddy’s girl. Mugdalena, though blind, also took care of her as much as she could, fed her with milk, and when she did not feel near her for a long time, she was very worried and called loudly. Several years have passed, and now Murashka has matured and has become beautiful and large. Although most of the young bison born in the nursery are sent to other specially protected natural areas to replenish the free population, Murashka decided to keep her in the breeding herd. She now lives in a family group with three other females and a four-year-old bull, Memuvin. Young and brave, she immediately became the leader of the group, and on June 7 of this year, Murashka became a mother for the first time. For several days Murashka hid in the most remote part of her vast enclosure, until, at last, the nursery staff could see a small blond calf next to her – it was a girl. They thought for a long time what name to give her, and decided that the memory of Mugdalen and Mowgli should remain in the name. After long disputes, the calf was named Muuglia. Muugly is attentive and very cautious, she always tries to stay close to her mother, who for her is the most powerful and wise creature in the world.

A grand celebration dedicated to the 77th anniversary of the reserve was held last Sunday. At the Central farmstead a rich ecological educational and entertaining program awaited all guests. Early in the morning, the winners of the LOVE TREK: “12 friends of the reserve” campaign gathered at the Central Manor of the reserve. They were to walk 12 km along a unique route and enjoy a picnic at the Reserve’s cordon. The participants of this “expedition” were impressed by what they saw: ancient lakes, sand dunes, springs, blossoming feather grass and wild irises. We are sure that presented emotions and unique photos, made this day memorable.

For many years the Volunteer Center of Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve has been uniting people who are interested in preservation of protected nature. On regular volunteer days, volunteer helpers clean pens from dead trees, paint fences, trim bushes, and do a lot of other household chores.This year we laid the foundation for a new area of work – media volunteering. This is pro bono help to create and promote content and design work. Students of the College of Secondary Vocational Education of the Private Educational Institution of Higher Education “Moscow University named after Sergei Yurievich Witte” specialty “Advertising” under the direction of the teacher Pepereva Ekaterina Vladimirovna approached us with the initiative – to provide services in the field of advertising and design.  At the end of April, a group of students led by their supervisor came to the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve with a working visit. The students were given a detailed tour of the Central European bison nursery and shown tourist sites such as the Tree House ecological park and the Through the Leaves trail. After that the future designers were given a presentation of the institution’s promotional polygraphic products and were introduced to the corporate identity and brand book. The students were given a task – to develop a design project “Passport of a Protected Friend”. After only 3 weeks we received 2 works for consideration. The expert committee of employees of the department of environmental education and educational tourism, headed by Deputy Director for Environmental Education, Development and Tourism “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” gathered for the final acceptance of works. Opinions were divided and we could not unanimously decide the winner. Both works are unique, interesting and original. We want to combine the successful solutions that are present in both works.  Therefore, it was decided that the layout “Passport of Protected Friend” will be put into circulation. In the form of a booklet, it will become a “credit book” of the training project “School of Protected Friends”. Natalya Shpilenok, Deputy Director for ecological education, development and tourism: “This is the first experience of media volunteering for the Reserve. We are very pleased with the cooperation and the results exceeded all our expectations. We hope for further cooperation. We believe that the students have great potential and are up to any task.

On Tuesday, June 28, the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve held a meeting of the Academic Council, which approved the main annual scientific report of the reserve – the Annals of Nature for the year 2021. The meeting was held in the assembly hall of the Central Manor of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve. A parallel online conference was organized for the participants of the Council, who could not come in person. The main issue was the consideration and adoption of the report on the theme “Annals of Nature of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve” for the year 2021. Due to the large volume of research conducted, a single volume of the Annals is divided into two parts – “Environmental Monitoring” and “Results of work on the topics of scientific cooperation”. For the first time in the annals we published the results of the study of ancient vegetation conducted by sampling and analysis of peat columns from the bog in the northern part of the reserve. We now know that peat accumulation began after a large-scale fire about 10500 years ago. The composition of plant spores and pollen shows that the forest-steppe dominated the territory of the future reserve in the past epoch. Broad-leaved forests of elm, oak, linden, and hazel were formed about 7 thousand years ago, which is 1-2 thousand years later than, for example, in the Moscow vicinity. The annals for the year 2021 also contain the results of ecological monitoring, research on the relief, a generalization on the composition of alien (invasive) flora, new data on myxomycetes of the Reserve and much more. At the meeting the report of the deputy director of FSBI “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” on scientific work Demidov Vasily Eduardovich on the activities of the department for the first half of 2022 was heard. The prospects of work for the current year of researchers from the Pushchino Institutes were discussed as well as issues related to farming near the borders of the Reserve and the need to combat introduced species, in particular invasive maple ash. The Reserve thanks all the participants of the meeting for their suggestions and for overall contribution to the scientific work of nature research. The next meeting of the Scientific Council of the Reserve is scheduled for December 2022.