European Regional Development Fund
Within a joint project LESY SR. and its cross-border partner Ipoly Erdő Zrt. develops Forest Schools in Levice and Somoskő. The SKHU/1601/1.1/ 009 number “Foresters raising publics´environmental awareness” INTERREG application is implemented under the Interreg V-A Slovakia-Hungary Cooperation Program.
The aim of forestry school development is to introduce the special natural values of the border region to the younger generation through the tools of environmental education and forest pedagogy. In addition, the project “Foresters raising publics´environmental awareness” is expected to raise the interest of the population living in Levice and Salgótarján for the special natural values of the border region, using informative and educational tools, focusing on young people and thus having a positive impact on tourism.
For a long time on both sides of the border, foresters have recognized the fact that a human's connection to cultural values, but especially to natural values influences his/her consciosuness and also the information available for the public. They also find that the great public does not understand the importance of sustainable forestry. For the time being, in this border region there are no facilities where environmental education and forest pedagogy could be effectively exercised, therefore, LESY SR and Ipoly Forest Zrt. have decided to present this area as a forest ecosystem and the sustainable management of forests, which will ensure the survival of forests for future generations.
The forestry school of Levice, located on 4100 m², is a completely new concept, built in the city. They create interactive natural demonstration spaces in the building, a small green island in the yard, a mini arboretum, and use visual observation opportunities to help develop hands-on skills. The Somoskő Forest School and the Visitor Center contribute to the expansion of the Hungarian territory with more than 5900 m². Thanks to the geographical location of the area - Somoskő Castle, Salgó Castle, Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark, high forest area, Karancs-Medves Landscape Protection Area - is a suitable place to fill the center's program year-round.
The total budget of the application is 1 438 788,96 EUR, of which LESY SR as a lead partner can use 723 011,04 EUR and Ipoly Erdő Zrt. will be able to use 715 777,92 EUR.