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Picture_Earth_day_22_april_035new.jpgPicture_Earth_day_22_april_047new.jpgPicture_Earth_day_22_april_041.jpgStudents from 7th grade planted an olive tree in their classroom as a part of international project against global warming.




Greetings from Bulgaria,Belozem

Belozem is European village of storks
In the past, in the center of the Thracian Plain Belozem village has been renowned for its superior rice, feeding capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul. Later - in 70 years of XX century, with wonderful local cheese was supplied U.S. Sixth Fleet. A year picturesque village with 5000 inhabitants is known now as the European settlement of the white stork.
The title was awarded on July 8 of Germany's leading conservation organization Evronatur. So far, this distinction only have 8 more villages in Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Poland, Spain, Romania and Slovenia. In this spring Belozem priletyaha 23 pairs of white storks, 17 of which were dropped nests on the roof of the local school, 3 - on the bell tower of the Orthodox Church and several other places around the village.

In Belozem Geren ever known, always had a lot of storks and their history is linked to the rice paddies of the village - an indispensable source of livelihood of the elegant long-legged birds. This story takes us back 40 years energetic Lord Mayor Ivan Tachev:

"The museum held in Pazardjik Turkish newspapers from 1650 says that after having finished the rice imported from Egypt, Istanbul is supplied with our" parambolskiya, which had great qualities, "says Mr Tachev. - In the village there was an ancient Roman fortress called Parambole road linking the East with Western Roman Empire. Has long traditional culture here is rice, and because the stork is waterfowl inhabiting wetlands, it is always present in Belozem. There is historical evidence that the former Geren Koria / Geren is not Belozem old is / was a huge tree, called the eagle tree, and it lists over 30 stork nests.

Today, unfortunately, age-old tree has long gone, and stork nests in the village are now less than 30. Nearby forest was engraved, partly to allow farmland to come here in the early 20th century Bulgarian refugees from Aegean Thrace remained outside Bulgaria. Gradually decreased and rice paddies, and natural saline land for grazing, where animals are kept with unusually tasty meat and milk. Saline soils are disappearing legacy of a former sea, as evidenced by small marine ohlyuvcheta in the limestone rocks along the nearby village Bolyarovo.

But storks still return in flocks in the village where they find food in the few rice fields and other marshy places along the Maritsa, which passes within 3 km from Belozem. In the absence of sufficiently high and klonati trees, they built their nests on rooftops. For people in the village passing stork roadside so as usual for most people passing street cat.

"Because most compact storks are settled over the school building - said the mayor Tachev - often watching children play amongst the trees in the schoolyard, a stork standing 5 m away from perfectly calm children. Storks are used here for centuries by the presence of Horta, and children are educated in a spirit of love and care for the storks, which are integral part of life belozemtsi.

For citizents of Belozim is difficult to imagine that their beautiful and much loved feathered fellows may one day disappear, as happened in most of villages of Europe. Said in this connection the words of Gabriel Shvaderer - Director of Nature Conservation, the German eco-organization Evronatur - heavily impressed Belozem mayor.

"This person pointed out my example that will never forget," said Ivan Tachev. Mr. Shvaderer said he remembers his grandfather storks in their home village, but his father had never seen such beautiful white feathers because irrevocably disappeared. A stork is a bird which can not artificially displaced. He always returned where was born and has an enviable memory for it. But you ever cast - end. "

City Hall has begun a large-scale afforestation program in and near the village, which may one day return storks on the roofs of the trees. "Only near the stadium," says Mayor Ivan Tachev, we planted 340 American oak. Next year, Belozem intends to organize a formal meeting of the storks on March 22 as part of a project for development of ecotourism in the village. On passing on Trakia highway plate Belozem will write more "European settlement of the white stork. Experience of similar events in Belozem is missing. I just hushing Assumption Cathedral in the village with the participation of Banat Bulgarians in Romania. A 22 to 25 September is looking forward to the annual family meeting, gathering, which for three days collected over 30 thousand scattered around the country belozemtsi with their families and friends. "This council will probably across southern Bulgaria - Mayor says with pride. And added that the municipality shall make mummers International Festival, International Children's football tournament in which the visiting clubs like Milan, Fenerbahce, Bradford, etc. From August 29 to September 2 250 children from Italy, Croatia, Poland and Romania meet in a traditional Belozem Youth Festival for contemporary music with a Christian focus this year titled "What Vadis. In 1000 live Belozem Catholics and Orthodox Christians and 4000 in the village has both Orthodox and Catholic Church. Mixed marriages are common here. Mayor himself is Orthodox, but married a Catholic.
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