Harmony with nature brought up from childhood

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We continue the series of publications devoted to the history of the program “Man and the Biosphere.” We bring to your attention a conversation with the director of Danki secondary school.
The village of Danki is the closest neighbor of the Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve. Many employees of the reserve — in the past and now live in Danki, raise their children. The ties between the village and the protected area are very close and much in these relations is formed in childhood. Olga Vladimirovna Kabanova, the director of the Danki secondary school, believes that the proximity to the reserve is in many ways a pledge of the harmonious development of its students.

Olga Vladimirovna, what is your school’s relationship with the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve?

Our friendship with the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve is very old. For more than 30 years we have a scientific and ecological society, and it has not stopped working for a single year. And the main focus of his work is on cooperation with the reserve. After all, these are huge opportunities that others do not have. For example, the famous Background Monitoring Station. Here you can get acquainted with this scientific work, and this, which has been conducted for a long time. Here are observations of water, of the air. Under the guidance of the reserve staff, our students conduct their first research projects, and these are real educational projects. Children understand very well that this is the air we breathe and the water we drink. The pedagogical effect is very large, not only educational.

Does the neighborhood with the reserve area help you in your work?

Our village Danky is a unique place. We are well aware that we were lucky as few – after all, we are directly adjacent to the biosphere reserve, famous for being the only one in the Moscow region. We no longer think of our life without these friendships, without joint educational work. In other words – without excursions, holidays, competitions, exhibitions, master classes, which organizes the reserve. After all, someone behind this needs to go a few hours, and the reserve staff comes to us themselves or we come to them. Just walk along the path.

Our children, by the way, understand this perfectly. From a very young age they learn a lot about the life of wildlife, forest dwellers. Over time, they come to understand the environmental problems, the fact that without their solution, humanity can not exist. After all, the children’s mind is inquisitive; Our children observe a great deal, comprehend, make comparisons and draw conclusions and even convince those who are “not with them” to treat nature kindly.

How do you understand the fact that Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve is a biosphere reserve, what are its tasks?

Of course, we understand that we live in close proximity to the biosphere reserve. Closer than anyone else. After all, this is very important! I believe that those organizations that are in our region, adjacent to the protected area, should correctly understand the tasks that the reserve sets, which are set by UNESCO in the program “Man and the Biosphere” and disseminate this knowledge. Our pedagogical educational work in this process plays a huge role. Attitude to nature, to those animals that live near us, and ultimately to the huge biosphere, the living shell of the Earth, is formed in childhood. To save the nature that is next to you is to save a particle of the biosphere. This is the task of every person. I am very glad that we can deal with these issues with the reserve.

Are there among your students those who may come to work in the reserve in the future?

Some employees of the reserve – in the past, our students, and today – our parents. Work in the reserve – felt in the family. Children, parents, several generations and, therefore, something accidental in our work simply cannot be. I very much hope that among our students today there will definitely be those who will choose a profession related to the conservation of nature and the animal world and maybe they will come to work in the reserve. We had such examples and I hope there will be more.

Is harmony possible in the relationship between man and nature? What are the ways to achieve it?

Of course it is possible! After all, it is achieved first in the smallest. It is necessary to learn this harmony from childhood. Our children, my students are rural children. In this respect, they were initially more fortunate – they live on the ground, practically among nature, near the forest, river meadows. Came out for the gate – and nature is near. But I am very grateful to the reserve and its staff for the fact that they work not only with rural children, but also with urban schoolchildren. City children are different. They have grown on asphalt, and when they come to the reserve for the events that are held for them, it’s for them whole discoveries and the reserve together with us is looking for interesting forms for this, so that it is understandable and fascinating. For example, the Ecological «Olympics», which was recently, helps children to compete in knowledge, in sports skills – but at the same time understand how important it is to preserve wildlife. The path to the harmonious formation of the personality follows a forest path. Otherwise, what will we do with asphalt?

I want to wish all employees of the reserve – good health, well-being, creative success in the field in which they work. And of course – help our institution, our children. We really need it. Thank you so much!