Agricultural land and green spaces with ecological education in Bydgoszcz
The city has a dynamic approach to sustainable development as part of its efforts to improve the quality of life for the city’s inhabitants
Bydgoszcz is the eighth largest city in Poland, part of the Bydgoszcz–Toruń metropolitan area, set on the Brda and Vistula rivers in northern Poland. It is an increasingly important economic centre, but the city is well known for its water, Art Nouveau buildings, and urban greenery – including the largest city park in Poland (830 ha).
Against this background, Bydgoszcz wanted to link its agricultural land and green spaces with ecological education.
It took a particular interest in Ljubljana’s approach to connecting sites in the city that are bee-friendly and where apiaries can be visited. Visiting Ljubljana in April 2019 - together with stakeholders of BeePathNet’s other partner cities - members of Bydgoszcz’s ULG were truly inspired by how they too could create their own story around bees, linking to history, architecture and natural values.
The City started to test and promote the quality of Bydgoszcz honey and used World Bee Day to implement a campaign on the ‘Urban reality of bees and people - let’s create a more bee-friendly world’, including photos at bus and tram stops, and messages on billboards. A local biologist produced a brochure on proper human behaviour towards bees and an exhibition. But for ULG Coordinator, Justyna Olszewska, a highlight was local teachers getting enthusiastic about teaching children about bees. They developed a new educational programme called “With Bees Throughout the Year”, which gives children the opportunity to get to know bees and learn about beekeeping and related topics around health, plants and nature.
The approach undertaken by Bydgoszcz is fully aligned with the integrated approach of the Practice of Ljubljana that it transferred. Ecological practices related to beekeeping have been developed. The new EU project “Bez Lipy” introduces a participatory approach to greenery development and a member of URBACT local group participates in the work.
The practice also focuses on children and their education and attitude towards bees. This has also meant the development of professional skills and capacity to raise their awareness and develop bee-related activities as well as the enlargement of the network of urban beekeepers in the city.
The city also promotes new (touristic) products and services related to beekeeping such as educational workshops run by Dawid Kilon, a biologist, guide and draftsman and bee-keeping workshops run at WSG University of Economy in Bydgoszcz. The city hopes to install the popular bee educational programme across the whole education sector, from kindergarten to higher levels. There are also plans that Ania Izdebska with the local Tourist Office will create a ‘Bee Quest Game’ that will complement the town’s existing game for visitors.
Finally, the city also plans to explore further business opportunities and promotion, to take advantage of the growing interest in the project - including in other towns in the region.
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