Environmental education, didactic itineraries, geological consultancy and more: the cooperative Mother Nature brings together young naturalists from Upper Molise who are convinced that only by networking and activating their territory will it be able to have its say. Here they are engaged in many initiatives of environmental education and not only, for the little ones, and not only. Because there is a lack of awareness of what nature, Mother Nature, has given us.
1) How and when was your reality born? With what "mission"?
It was in 2005 that we combined our skills and a common passion for nature to give life to MadreNatura. The idea starts from experiences gained in other regions with realities similar to ours, from the awareness that the Molise territory has a lot to offer from a naturalistic point of view and from the desire to stay in our region and build our future here. The initiatives we carry out are different and concern the'environmental education through educational programs, naturalistic tourist itineraries, consultancy in the environmental field.
2) What environmental education initiatives have you implemented?
Our activities of environmental education they are varied but all aim to involve pupils through a cognitive, emotional and pragmatic approach, to stimulate the curiosity and sensitivity of the little ones and to engage the older ones with practical activities. We propose routes of environmental education aimed at getting to know the different aspects of the natural areas of the territory, but also thematic visits, educational and creative workshops, projects that also include classroom meetings. The goal is always to bring young people to consider the environment as a value to be discovered, respected, protected.
3) What do the nature trails you propose consist of?
The nature trails take place mainly in the territory ofUpper Molise. During our guided tours we tell the story of the territory in its multiplicity: from general information on flora and fauna through more “scientific” news to the more entertaining ones related to myths, legends and many curiosities. Didactic games of environmental education which can even involve the greatest. We try to address a broad target ranging from lovers of pure hiking to families in search of tranquility, through different paths.
4) Do you also carry out initiatives in schools? On what issues?
We carry out a series of projects of environmental education which include several days with class meetings and in a natural area chosen. Among the topics covered some more current such as waste and recycling and the renewable energies. Among other projects "A day as naturalists" on the knowledge of some physical principles through the construction of tools. “Botanists… budding!”: An approach to botany through the collection of plant species, their determination and the creation of a herbarium. "The investigators of nature", which stimulates knowledge of nature by proposing to build bulletin boards, nest boxes, feeders to be used in the field.
5) What response do you receive? What are the topics that arouse interest?
The children are ecstatic, as evidenced by the letters and drawings that come to us after our meetings during which they are always very curious and fill us with questions. And this is precisely one of the fundamental characteristics of our activities environmental education: the interaction continues. There are no "favorite" themes, who on one thing who on another but everyone wants to be involved and stimulated.
6) Do you have collaborations with public institutions or private bodies?
We have collaborated, especially in the field of environmental consultancy, with municipalities of Molise and Abruzzo, companies and private companies. We have received various assignments in the past years for the drafting of incidence assessments, landscape reports ... We are young naturalists and geologists and we provide our skills for studies and research in the area of environmental management of the territory, as well as for theenvironmental education.
7) What are the main dangers for your territory?
One of the main problems of our territory is the lack of knowledge, and therefore awareness, of what we have from a naturalistic and environmental point of view. We have a lot to offer, especially in terms of tourism, but there is still not enough environmental education. There is also a lack of real collaboration between the various existing entities. Only putting ourselves in the system, by joining our forces, we could be able to show that Molise really exists.