International Crane Foundation and  Leopold Education Project Trip to Muraviovka Park

I was fortunate to join a group of American educators on a trip to the Amur River Region of Russia to teach Aldo Leopold Land Ethics to groups of Russian Educators as well as a special group of Russian Middle Schoolers who had been picked because of their environmental educational achievements.  These teachers and students were from the local region as well as from across all of Russia.  Other English camps have been held at Muraviovka Park but this was the first with an environmental emphasis.  Muraviovka Park is about half the size of Horicon Marsh here in Wisconsin and is found in far eastern Russia right on the border with China,  once Mongolia along the Amur River                                                      On the Fourth of July the Russian people put on a special "County Fair" for us American visitors which included local folk dancers and singers, an opera star, dignitaries as well as an arts and crafts show we were to judge.  We ended up getting up ourselves and sang "God Bless America".  This was videoed and ended up on lecal TV.  Moscow picked up the feed from the local station and sent it out on the national TV network 

This was our home away from home.  Because of a sprained ankle I was able to stay on the first floor.  The rest of our group stayedin a series of guest rooms on the second floor


and the cooks who were senior students from the technical college in Blago provided us with real russian meals, everyone enjoyed the meals


 Every evening at 5:30 the park staff started a fire heating water for warm showers.  This building was a combination Laundry and Sauna (Banya)

The rare and endangered cranes kept to their nesting grounds but could be seen with binoculars and spotting scopes.  The two black specks on the right of the picture are cranes



Mist netting was placed along the edge of the marsh and well over a dozen birds were captured and banded. Barb and Marina keep the camp going and deserve  A lot of credit for the success of the project.


Some of our crew and some of the Russian teachers who came from all over Russia. Getting together with the Russian teachers at a campfire on the last day

The Russian/American Team, first row L>R Nicoli, Barb, Linda, & Curt: Back: Marina, Dave, Kyle & Sergey. 

And of course our wonderful translators:

             Katia                           Tonya                        Liosha                             Sveta


Homeroom.started off each morning.         A hands on approach to soils               Campfires are always a highpoint


    Linda, the teacher, enjoyed the caterpillar race              The human knot was also one of the things the kids loved.



Here are a series of pictures of the kids learning about good land ethics.   


      They were so like the kids back home in so many ways. 

                 The interest in their eyes was so strong.

     The sun may have set on our Muraviovka Adventure but the memories will last a lifetime.



                               Our future Russian Land Stewards forming their values