From 12th to 14th of October 2020 a holiday activity called ‘Kreativ Wald’ (Creative forest) took place close to Angermünde, Germany. The event, organised as a Citizen Engagement Activity, supported by the Interreg Volunteer Youth initiative brought together up to 30 local children to experience the World Heritage area of the Grumsin Beech Forest. It was the first holiday activity in connection to the World Heritage beech forest Grumsin. Young participants between the age of 6 to 12, had the chance to draw inspiration from nature and create art for three days. The event was organised by the BEECH POWER partner City of Angermünde in collaboration with NABU – Nature experience center Blumberger Mühle, who were responsible for the environmental education and provided their premises for this activity.
Forest classroom, forest artroom
The first day started off in Altkünkendorf, the gateway to the Grumsin component part,. From here, participating children were taken for an educational tour through the World Heritage beech forest. The Blumberger Mühle team prepared a day-long programme full of games, storytelling and creative activities engaging all their senses. Throughout various interactive activities, the young attendees were introduced to the meaning of UNESCO World Heritage sites and the uniqueness of beech forests.
On the second and third day the programme continued at the Blumberger Mühle premises. Two artists Johanna Martin and Inga Carriére from the local art group UmKunst held a creative art school and guided children on how to channel their creativity through nature experiences. During these days, the children tried out numbers of different art techniques working with natural materials, creating mesmerizing works of art inspired by the forest.
Young participants, accompanied by their parents were planned to end the three-day activity with a joint BBQ afternoon. This BBQ was created to explore the prepared artwork, and discuss in more details about the BEECH POWER project, its goals and achievements. Unfortunately, this closing event had to be cancelled due to suboptimal weather conditions and COVID-19 regulations. Nevertheless, the activity received a very positive feedback from participants and hopefully provided a foundation for ongoing collaboration between different actors in the region.
And finally, not only the children, but the BEECH POWER team was just as well inspired by the outcomes and we will continue to find creative ways to integrate the value and importance beech forests into youth education.