Schlagwort-Archive: Nationalpark

Two days in Moosbrunn through a volunteer’s eyes

Wochenendaktion im Nationalpark Donauauen

One mission: Mow the reed and moor grass of a nature reserve (Brunnlust) belonging to Naturschutzbund NÖ and rake up the cut plants to free the area. The main aim: Conserve the balance of this very special eco-system by allowing other plants to grow again.

Wochenendaktion im Nationalpark DonauauenLearnings and experiences: Learning how to use a traditional scythe and the modern motorised version of a scythe was as tiring as playful. Do you remember how driving the garbage truck or the lawn-tractor was the top of your dreams as a kid? Most of us still have this buried desire to crash and destroy but, for a good reason, we learned how to quiet it as we turned into adults. Here I was allowed to let this desire come back to life as it was for a good cause! Learning about the local beavers and seeing their piece of work was the best way to understand how sustainability also relies on a compromise between and within species, a compromise between different needs and objectives. Interacting with the volunteers outside of the “working hours” was a good opportunity to play games beyond language barriers, to revive childhood memories while sleeping on these thick gymnastics’ mattresses at the local elementary school, to discuss critically about the pros and cons of organic food and which systemic and behavioural changes should accompany the organic products’ movement, etc.

Many surprises: Putting your political convictions aside, it was a pleasant surprise to see the mayor sweat a bit next to us, showing that no matter which party you belong to, you can still have some passions and goals in common. As the only (official) foreigner, I was particularly touched by the efforts of everyone to speak in English, independently from their age. One Austrian volunteer even came to me and said “thanks to you, everybody is asking me if they can speak German to me!” A spontaneous proof of cultural sensitivity!

Wochenendaktion im Nationalpark DonauauenComing home with good memories: Besides the muscle pain and the dirty rain boots, I came back home with a wide feeling of satisfaction to have directly participated in a useful project, with memories of laughter while seeing my boots filling with the dark water as I stepped in the wrong place and then helping others wringing their soaked socks as they fell in the same trap.

A final goal: repeat this experience next year!

Valentine Costa

Workcamp im Nationalpark Donau-Auen

Verfasst von Nathalie Binder

IMG_9866_klHeavily packed with things like rubber boots, sunglasses, laptop and sleeping bag I arrived at the campsite in Eckartsau, a tiny village in the heart of the Danube National Park. The sun was shining and when we (taxi driver and me) picked up the participants from the train station everybody was happy to be welcomed by the shining sun.

At the beginning we are still a bit cautious with each other, but after some ice breaker games the atmosphere is more relaxed and the foundations for the next two weeks are laid. At the campfire we get to know each other, chat and exchange our experiences.
Our first working day starts off with an introduction of our partners from the National Park Donau-Auen and then we finally hop on our bikes and cycle to our working destination. The bikes were our main means of locomotion those two weeks – we drove to the working spots, but also used them for excursions to nearby villages. Only for the trip to Bratislave we took a bus 😉

IMG_0001_klThe work in the woods was exciting and meditating at the same time. We worked together, helped out each other and experienced nature in its purest form. While some wandered around the woods to look for animals like deer or turtles others enjoyed nature while having a nap in the grass. The cooperation with the foresters, nationalpark rangers and the staff from the Park and the forestry agency was based on an equal level and sympathy.

IMG_9916_klAlso we were lucky to work in the mating season of the deer!! This means that you hear the majestic bellowing of the stags (“shouting of the mal deer”) everywhere in the Nationalpark.
After the two weeks on the bikes and a pretty impressive increase of velocity some of us, who were complaining about them in the beginning were now quite sad to leave them behind and go by bus. Who needs a motorized vehicle when you have two functioning legs?