Eco-trail “The Road of Life” was opened in Brest People involved in its creation, told the Green Portal about what and on what funds are equipped.
Map of the ecotrail "Road of Life"
Bicycle helped to promote the idea
Grass slightly covered with frost, morning haze over the water and ... a tree lying across the road as a result of the night work of local beavers. Such a picturesque picture can be seen practically in the center of Brest.
Here, on the banks of the Mukhavets River, on December 10, 2019, the acceptance of the ecological path "The Road of Life" took place. The journalist of the Green Portal walked through the new city facility together with those who rented and accepted it.
The history of the creation of the ecotrail began several years ago. Back in 2012, caring residents of the city appealed to the city authorities with a request to protect a section of the road in the forest zone along the southern coast of Mukhavets - from the Brest Fortress to the Krasny Dvor, from traffic.
In subsequent years, signatures “for” were collected, meetings of the chairmen of cycling clubs were held, official letters were drawn up ... But the matter was moving at a snail's pace, and then it completely stalled.
The participation of the city in the EU project “Urban Movement in Belarus” helped to get things off the ground. Application for the creation of an ecotrail submitted by the Brest City Executive Committee in partnership with the institution "For Velo Brest", passed competitive selection in Center for Environmental Solutions (CED) and received funding from the European Union.
“We have received about 90 applications and proposals to improve the cycling infrastructure and conditions for the development of cycling in the regions of Belarus, - tells Hope Bunta, CER employee, project administrative and financial specialist. - Of these, 24 were selected - both from state institutions of the country and from NGOs.
All the activities envisaged within the framework of our project “Urban Traffic in Belarus”, supported by the European Union, are aimed at making the bicycle more often used as a full-fledged urban transport ”.
The city received about 30 thousand rubles for the arrangement of the ecological path "The Road of Life".
How is the trail different from the usual city path along the river?
The fact that it is a specially equipped and specially protected walking and educational route passing through various natural objects. Information stands with a description of the route must be installed on the eco-trail.
“We have fenced off the eco-trail with barriers in such a way that it would be impossible to drive a car, - explains Olesya Okrug, Head of the Sports and Tourism Sector of the Brest City Executive Committee. - The path is open for cyclists and mothers with strollers. There is also the possibility of passing special vehicles.
The road was leveled with a grader, huge puddles and holes were filled. Bicycle parking was installed near each entrance to the route, and unpaved parking lots for cars were made.
It will be possible to leave your bike at the bicycle parking to play sports, observe nature, and fish. Or take a bike sharing service if you arrived by car or came on foot and want to ride along the route.
The first stage of equipping the eco-trail was carried out this spring at the expense of the city budget: grading, installation of one barrier. Now the city is also adding funding, since the money received is not enough to carry out all the necessary work.
Further plans include the improvement of one of the entrances to the eco-trail from the Varshavskoe highway. "
As soon as two information stands are installed on the trail, its official opening will take place. Now they are developing the design of stands, which will be made of durable materials.
They are not going to install gazebos on the route yet, so as not to attract drinkers and make some noise. Such companies can interfere with those who have arrived to take a break from the bustle of the city and scare away the local inhabitants of the Red Book.
But the question of installing small shops is still open - how long will they stand, if not so long ago the anti-vandal simulators on the Embankment and the parklet on Kovalevka were broken and taken away ...
Who took care of the trail and were they paid?
“Many citizens and organizations have worked on the creation of the eco-trail, - shares Vladimir Krasko, director of the institution "For Velo Brest". - We are very grateful to those who opened this path, singled it out from the urban massif and stood up for the improvement: Valentin Boldenka and the RaDea cycling club, activist Pavel Zinovich.
Cycling clubs were actively involved in subbotniks "BikeBrest"And" Cola-bok ", a number of other organizations and initiatives of the city. For security purposes, the barriers were pasted over with reflective tape - this is an independent initiative of the club "BikeBrest".
Many people think that there are some administrative costs in projects funded by the European Union. In fact, neither we nor the employees of the city executive committee have any additional fees.
All allocated funds are exclusively intended for the development of infrastructure. All members of the organization "For Velo Brest", as well as the rest of the townspeople who helped in the arrangement of the trail, did it on a volunteer basis - for their city.
For a tourist, sophisticated by European architecture and world museums, it is the “greenness” and environmental friendliness of Belarus that can be the main points of attraction. The urban eco-trail is just such an object. "
The next step is an audio tour
In the spring, during a cleanup, a whole truck of plastic bottles was collected on the territory of the eco-trail ... The city executive committee plans to install several garbage containers here.
The main work on the improvement of the eco-trail was carried out by the Municipal Unitary Enterprise "Brest DEP".
“We took the most direct part in this project, which is significant for Brest, - speaks Dmitry Polkhovsky, Head of PTO Brest road maintenance enterprise. - We installed barriers and bike holders, equipped car parks, leveled and poured the track. I think people will like this new product and get a positive response from them. "
The Za Velo Brest institution plans to further participate in the continuation of the development of the eco-trail. Activists are interested in creating an audio tour: to develop a multilingual audio guide, a special map and a mobile application to make the eco trail more attractive for tourists.
With the help of specialists from the APB, you can make a list of birds, animals, plants and insects that live here and are listed in the Red Book.
“Our intervention in nature when creating the ecotrail was minimal, - tells Olesya Okrug, - so as not to violate the integrity of the ecosystem existing here.
Some fishermen expressed their dissatisfaction with the changes - they say that the installed barriers prevent them from driving closer to the shore, But for some reason they forget that it is impossible to park cars in the water protection zone (30 meters from the shore).
In summer, one could often observe such a picture on the Mukhavets bank (especially in the area of the Euroopt store on Varshavskoe shosse): families are resting, children are running around - and then someone drives up closer to the water to wash their car ... road, there is an inexpensive car wash! ..
The eco trail in the city center is a great place to relax. I myself enjoy cycling here. I often see young mothers walking with strollers - and the child breathes fresh air in the shade of the trees, and the mother keeps herself in shape. The Brest “Road of Life” is practically a health path ”.
Text and photo: brest.greenbelarus.info