Employees from SERAW’s Specialized Divisions at Kozloduy, members of their families and friends gathered in the Botev’s Park on 2nd July to participate in the celebration of the International Danube River Day for the seventh year in a row. In order to start off the Day and wish a successful activity, the volunteers were joined by the Executive Director of the Enterprise – Dilyan Petrov.
Traditionally, the volunteers first took care of the refinement of the rock gardens located around the memorial plaque of Dagobert Englender, Captain of Radetski Steamship. In parallel with the activities on planting new plants, a team of ten people assisted by an ecologist, employees and equipment of Kozloduy Municipality undertook the cleaning and shaping of the vegetation in the grove south of the museum exhibition ‘The new station of Bulgaria’. After transporting four trucks of green waste, old and beautiful trees stood out on the site. Another part of the volunteers cleaned the space around the Hristo Botev’s monument and coastline underneath.
The event’s accompanying programme gave the children the opportunity to think about caring for the river through various activities. Some of them found the sunny day suitable for reproducing the Danube landscapes on canvases, which will form a future exhibition in the new building of the Information Centre of the Enterprise. Others opted walking around the river and collecting natural materials in order to participate in the Danube Art Master 2021 international competition organized by the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). It will also include children who managed, within the initiative, to establish a concept and shoot some frames for a short videoclip. The day turned out to be extremely suitable for observing the birds inhabiting the banks of the river near Kozloduy. In addition to the little egret, the black stork and the little cormorant, which are protected in Bulgaria and the latter being a globally endangered species, came into close view of the binoculars. The little cormorant did not bother to eat metres from the shore and was kind to the children’s curiosity. Unexpectedly, even to the specialists in the observation on 2nd July, less common birds came across – a flock of 19 shovelers and a flock of 16 brilliant ibises.
At the end of the initiative, children and adults demonstrated their knowledge of the Danube River by participating in a quiz with little-known facts about the river.
This year’s celebration of the International Danube River Day was attended by over 30 children and more than 40 adults, which clearly highlighted the tendency of increasing the number of volunteers with each passing year.
‘The Danube Day’ is annually celebrated on 29th June – the date on which the international Danube River Protection Convention was signed by eleven countries and the European Community. The mission of the initiative is to draw attention to the protection of the river and its tributaries. The Day of one of the largest riverine ecosystems in Europe, of people and wildlife located in its region, was first celebrated in 2004.