Reconstructed environmental centre begins with a rich programme
International Christian conservation organization A Rocha has had its centre in the village of Dobré since 2011 when the former mill with adjacent land was purchased. With funding from the regional government programmes OPPS CR – PR 2007-2013, announced by the Euroregion Glacensis, the ground floor of this building was renovated in the past six months.
A Rocha Czech along with its Polish partner, Radkow community succeeded in grant management, and could start the project called “Together for people and nature .” While the Czech Centre reconstructed its multifunctional room, kitchen and bathroom in the past six months, Radkow community uses grant funds for the reconstruction of its natural amphitheatre. All this will lay the foundation for the continuation of the project and the organization of joint events on both sides of the Czech-Polish border.
On Sunday, September 15, the first part of the reconstruction of the Centre was celebrated. The Environmental Centre of A Rocha Czech Krupárna (ie the Mill) was named after the Englishman Keith Morris, A Rocha Czech´s spiritual father, who, along with Pavel Světlík, pastor of the Church of Brethren had initiated the establishment of the organization in the Czech Republic. The late Keith Morris´ family members attended the ceremony and unveiled a commemorative plaque with motifs of dragonflies that Keith had been very fond of.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Pavel Světlík spoke about the beginnings, activities and future plans of A Rocha Czech. Given the international participation in the inauguration of the Keith Morris Environmental Centre, the organizers did not forget to make us listen to the Polish, Czech and European anthem – it should be noted that hearing the sound of our national anthem in the setting of Krupárna where the water really hums and the forests really rustle (like in the lyrics of our anthem), was very impressive. During the afternoon, guests could explore the new areas and look at photographs documenting the activities of the Centre. Slávek Klecandr, a noted Christian songwriter and singer from the band Oboroh gave a great concert.
The main thrust of A Rocha Czech is enviromental education, which was fully confirmed by Pavel Světlík´s to our question about the next steps: ” On 26 – 29th September, we are going to organize an exhibition called Mushrooms of Podorlicko (the foothills of Orlické hory). We are about to start on Thursday afternoon with the presentation of our local species and with lectures of mycologists concerning new findings about the toxicity of various fungi. From Friday to Sunday, the show will be open to the public, especially the first day several schools are expected to come. Another event is the Autumn European birds festival on Saturday 5 October . Walking several kilometres in our local woods and meadows, participants will observe birds. Later on, people will be able to watch birds from our new hide behind the Centre. Both events will take place in cooperation with our Polish partner.
In addition to educational programs and activities, construction work should continue: ” Continued reconstruction of Keith Morris Centre is dependent on the supply of finance. We want to create an additional room on the first floor . There is an old collection of about 200 pieces of birds which are now being restored. We are going to display them in glass cabinets in that room. We are also planning to install turbines as a demonstration of the use of water power, “explained Pavel Světlík, A Rocha Czech´s and Keith Morris Environmental Centre´s director.
Author of the text : Dana Ehlová
Photos by Filip Laštovic