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Brigade Verte
Start date: Nov 1, 2015, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The area of the Ballastière (body of water surrounded by sand and forest) is a natural area of quality, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, both terrestrial (forest) and aquatic. In addition to this, the Ballastière is also a recreation and swimming area owned by the city of Bischheim (9km from Strasbourg). This space is crowded from June to September, especially on weekends and in the evenings, both by families and young people, sharing different activities (diving, miniature sailboats, fishing ...). These activities and the number of visitors in this place, put a strong environmental pressure and threaten to undermine the balance of the area; waste left on picnic and barbecue areas, thrown into the water, scattered in the woods or on the paths around the lake, trampling of environmentally sensitive areas (nesting areas, etc.), degradation of trees, pulling of branches to supply the barbecue ... The panels displaying the instructions and the Regulation of the site are not read. Site the number of visitors is increasing consistently, it is urgent to find ways to reconcile the different uses with the ecological interests of the area. Investigations by various actors and officials came to the conclusion that the remake of the instruction does not suffice. Experience has shown that it is the oral communication of proximity that gives the best results. This is how the project of a "green brigade" emerged, made of participants in the European Voluntary Service. These two volunteers (from Turkey and Bulgaria) during 3 months will create and implement actions, workshops and outreach interventions for the users of the Ballastière to raise awareness on respect for the site and make them discover the environmental richness of the place, implement activities around the knowledge of the fauna and flora of the site for children and young people, create a EVS blog feed daily to highlight the environmental richness of the area and the activities performed by volunteers to put forward and preserve them. The objectives of the project are to provide participants with new skills, attitudes, knowledge and tools promoting their employability; to stimulate reflection, exchange and sharing of ideas for young volunteers with fewer opportunities around protection and advocacy for the preservation of the environment; to raise awareness for users of the Ballastière about the environmental richness of the site; to raise awareness for users of the Ballastière about the impact of human activities on ecological balances; to inform users of the site on eco-actions to be taken to preserve the beauty of their environment; to create various awareness tools for the site protection, including a blog updated regularly. The expected impact is multiple, first on young volunteers: strengthening their capacity (knowledge, attitude, aptitude), foster the mutual understanding between the young volunteers and members of the host association, develop their social, personal and professional skills. The expected impact on the local population and associations of the Ballastière is their involvement in the preservation and protection of the environmental richness of the site, and the meeting with other cultures and practices. Finally, the blog, on which all activities done and tools developed during the project will be posted, will be shared in the networks of the sending and hosting organizations, which will allow the project to have a wider impact and increasing awareness of people to protect the environment, and which will also allow other associations or youth workers to have access to the descriptions of activities and tools that they can then reuse in their contexts respectively.
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