Free eco-rafting started in Voronezh on Monday, September 7. Everyone will be able to join the campaign, it will last until the end of September. During this time, the activists will clear the Voronezh Reservoir and several rivers in the Voronezh Region from garbage, as well as the coastal area of the water bodies. Participants of the campaign will also receive bags, nets, and gloves for free. The rafting funded by a presidential grant is being organized by the Neskuchny Den (Not-Boring Day) ecotourism project with the support of the Dva Vesla (Two Oars) kayaking group.
‘The idea was on the surface, I didn't have to invent anything. We’ve organized eco-picnics and gathered subscribers of our web page in a beautiful but littered place in Voronezh even before this. First, we cleaned it up, and then we all rested together in an already clean place. Now we have done a similar project but this time on the water,’ explained Boris Demyanov, the creator of the project for organizing eco-rafting./p>
On the first day, 30 residents of Voronezh sailed in kayaks from Admiralteyskaya Square to Vogresovsky Bridge. For an hour and a half, the activists used nets to remove the garbage out of the reservoir and put it in mesh bags. The catch mostly consisted of plastic bottles but there was also an unexpected find. Not far from the coast, the eco-rafting participant Dmitry Motil discovered a soft toy in the shape of a camel.
‘At first we did not understand what or even who it was. There was a thought that this was a living creature, but we swam closer and realized: a toy. We grabbed it with our hands - it was impossible to pick up with a net since it was too large and heavy, put it on the nose of the kayak and so came back to the shore with a new crew member,’ the man said. ‘For me, there is nothing shameful in garbage collection - let it be a shame on those who did not clean up after themselves. I took part in the rafting alone, but in general, my family and I constantly come to the eco-picnics of Neskuchny Den: together with everyone we clean up the beautiful places of our city from the garbage that is left behind, to put it mildly, by uncultured vacationers. Littering outdoors is barbarity, I teach my children this.’
The participants of the first day of eco-rafting finished on the shore near the building of the State Inspection for Small Vessels of the Voronezh Region (1L Leninsky Avenue). It is where the locals have picnics.
‘This place has a stunning sunset view. We hope that people will see the cleanliness and will be ashamed to leave the garbage behind again,’ said the organizers of the eco-rafting.
In half an hour, the participants of the eco-campaign collected ten large bags of garbage, which will be picked up from the shore by the public utility service.
‘When I found out about the new project (eco-rafting), I immediately became eager to participate. It’s a great idea to combine outdoor activities with environmental improvement. It's great to see the result of your work right away. I love my city and want it to be clean. I have been taking part in subbotniks (voluntary community work usually done on Saturdays – RIA Voronezh) and collecting waste separately for a long time. I collect and turn in plastic and waste paper,’ said Mila Vasilyeva.
After the cleaning, all the rafting participants watched a movie about ecology and talked with the founder of the Eco-Taxi project, Katerina Khomich.
The organizers of the campaign - the Neskuchny Den ecotourism project - will publish the rafting schedule on their VKontakte web page. Registration for rafting on Tuesday evening, 8 September, is open. Participants of the campaign will sail from Severny Bridge to the beach near Otrozhka.
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