From 26 to 29 September, ALDA will host 20 key stakeholders from Cyprus, Portugal, Denmark and Iceland in the beautiful city of Strasbourg for the second edition of the Training Course on Active Ageing and Nature Conservation, aimed at staff and adult educators who work directly with older people and environmental issues in their regular activities.
The agenda of the training course “Active Ageing and Nature Conservation” included
Our partner Bioliving and the Municipality of Lousada, who are experienced in working with older people and in issues such as nature conservation and biodiversity, will present these topics with enthusiasm and expertise.
Connecting with nature and the future
A highlight of the agenda will be a day of outdoor training in the Parc de l’Orangerie and the Strasbourg Botanical Garden. These natural settings will provide the perfect backdrop for participants to connect with nature and strengthen their commitment to conservation efforts. It will also allow them to find a deeper sense of purpose in their future volunteering activities.
All participants will receive a Europass Mobility certificate and this training activity is very important for the Grey4Green project as the following activities will be designed based on the feedback we receive from the participants.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that aims to reduce plastic pollution. It provides resources and ideas to help individuals, businesses, and communities reduce single-use plastic waste. The movement has inspired over 100 million participants in 190 countries to make small changes that collectively make a massive difference.
The initiative emphasizes the importance of individual actions in combating plastic pollution. By choosing to refuse single-use plastics, participants can contribute to cleaner streets, oceans, and communities. The movement also offers practical resources and ideas, such as the Pesky Plastics Quiz, to help participants identify and reduce their plastic use.
Plastic Free July demonstrates that collective action on an individual level can lead to significant positive changes in our environment. The movement encourages participants to continue their plastic-free habits beyond July, aiming for lasting change in our consumption patterns.
Take the first step now and join this initiative, here you can find small actions that you can do for a greener July!
The Icelandic Conservation volunteers (ICV) programme has started on the 4th of June. The first week is the training week, in which the 16 new volunteers will learn about nature conservation in Iceland, path building and maintenance and team dynamics. They will also have the chance to get to explore the area where they are working, discovering the unique Icelandic nature and landscapes. The training week is the occasion for experienced leaders to share their knowledge. The teams are composed of 4 new volunteers and a team leader, a volunteer who has spent at least one summer In Iceland before. The teams work on a location for a week with the local managers and the rangers, mainly in protected areas all around Iceland.
Each of the team gets to achieve a different kind of project during the 10 weeks they spent in Iceland in 10 different locations, making their experience unique.
The training week of the volunteers starts with presentations and theoretical material on the first day, conducted by the coordinator and the experienced leaders. Their insight is precious since they do have more field experience and know how to face a problem and find a solution. Then the volunteers get to learn about path building and maintenance practices, using local resources either stone and/or wood.
The different techniques that are taught during this training week have been gathered in a handbook that Roger, a senior volunteer, had written over the years.
To keep you updated on their activities, follow the ICV on Facebook
In the last week of September 2023, the second Learning, Teaching and Learning Activity of the Grey4Green project will be held in Strasbourg, France. This Training Course will be dedicated to personnel working with senior citizens and active ageing programmes, especially under the scope of nature/climate action. It will cover basic concepts related to nature conservation, environmental volunteering, senior citizens education and engagement, active ageing, events and human resources management, and communication.
The main objectives of this training course are:
This course will be a good opportunity for participants who want to implement environmental volunteering programmes for senior citizens, by extending their knowledge on active ageing, social inclusion, and nature conservation through a hands-on approach. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to share experiences and understand the practices of different countries.
It is also worth mentioning that this experience contributes to the personal enrichment of the participants, who get to know people from different cultures in a foreign country.
The training course materials will be freely accessible on the project’s website to any person or organisation interested in independently replicating the training.
Follow us on Facebook to keep updated.
Grey4Green project has motivated many activities and actions involving Portuguese seniors towards raising general environmental literacy and also generating more awareness and expertise about practical actions to contribute to nature conservation.
In this context, the Municipality of Lousada has promoted a quite well-known worldwide citizen action, called BioBlitz, related to the search for the local biodiversity found in a specific and planned path and recording it using an international citizen science application- iNaturalist (BioDiversity4All).
As children are more familiar with technology and seniors with local biodiversity, it was extremely enriching to create an exchange of knowledge through the intergenerational approach of registering the fauna and flora found using a digital application.
Mata de Vilar, the largest patch of native forest in the municipality hosted the BioBlitz during a full day in which the 67 participants found 102 species of fauna and flora, such as the European robin (Erithacus rubecula), the Emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator) or the European Umbrella Milkwort (Tolpis barbata), and also some fungi species.
The most enthusiastic and surprising moment will have been the observation of a fox in broad daylight!
As part of the Grey4Green project, the Municipality of Lousada will continue to promote citizen science approaches with senior citizens and other community groups to increase environmental stewardship in the area.
Last May 13, the Bedsteforældres Klima Aktion (BK, Grandparents for Climate Action) conducted a silent sit-in for the climate in the heart of Aarhus city. It was a quiet demonstration for 2 hours. Both grandparents and their grandchildren made their own placards expressing what they feel about the urgency of doing something to reverse climate change and how the local policies being implemented in Aarhus affect the future.
It was a great experience that attracted much more attention. Now, people came up and expressed solidarity with them, and some even gave them high fives.
The members of BK handed out flyers in the pedestrian zone. BK is again planning a similar action on June 21st in front of the City Hall, where the City Council expects the final adoption of the port expansion.
Undoubtedly, 2023 has been one of the busiest and most rewarding years of the Grey4Green project. This year we are already putting into practice everything we have planned, designed, and created to involve senior volunteers in environmental action
From the 9th until the 12th of May, Cyprus received 20 key stakeholders in the topic of volunteering to provide training that encouraged them to find opportunities for senior volunteers. We dare to say that it was an enriching experience for all participants to work with people from different countries, ages and backgrounds. We certainly learned a lot from each other.
The agenda of the First Training Course entitled “Active Ageing and Nature Conservation” included:
These topics were delivered with lots of enthusiasm as well as energetic activities that allowed participants to get to know each other and their stories better.
The agenda also included a day of outdoor training in the Athalassa National Forest Park, where we were able to connect with nature and our purpose, as well as explore Nicosia a bit more.
All participants will be awarded a Europass Mobility certification and this training activity holds significant importance for the Grey4Green project as the following activities will be designed based on the feedback we receive from participants.
Simultaneously with our training, the Grey4Green Consortium convened its third Transnational Project Meeting (TPM) in Cyprus. During two days of intensive collaboration, discussion, and planning, we were able to analyze the progress of the project and the activities carried out so far.
The valuable feedback, ideas, and planning of all our members supported a clean organisation of the upcoming activities. It was a great time to set new deadlines for upcoming outputs as well as to review the current status of the project.
Notably, the meeting showcased our Online Platform designed for upcoming environmental volunteering events. This platform, already live and regularly updated by our partners, serves as an excellent tool for discovering and posting volunteering opportunities. Should you have a volunteering opportunity you wish to publish, we encourage you to utilize our website.
Together we can help empower senior volunteers to take action for the environment!
This TPM has also enabled us to start organising our second training activity, which we are happy to announce will take place in Strasbourg, France. Our partner ALDA will kindly host the trainees for several enriching days of training.
Thanks to our partner, CARDET, for hosting our participants and the consortium at their offices in Nicosia.
Stay tuned for more news on Grey4Green activities, we cannot be more excited about what is to come!
From the 1st to the 4th of February 2023, the Grey4Green partners will meet in person for the second Transnational Project Meeting in Denmark at the Fo-Aarhus headquarters. It will be the occasion to look at what has been done in 2022 and lay the foundation for the next project steps, including training, volunteer programmes and much more.
More in detail, the draft of the compendium of best practices on senior education for nature conservation, collected from all over Europe and the Online Learning Platform targeting seniors will be presented to the partners. There are already senior volunteering platforms, so what will be the novelty of the Online Platform? None of the already existing platforms is specifically devoted to environmental programmes.
The participants through this platform will be guided to a safe environment where the elderly and staff members can communicate and practice their intercultural and linguistic skills and informally develop ICT competencies. This output will respond to the need to find placements for senior volunteering and senior volunteers who wish to participate in green programmes.
Last but not least, the meeting will be an opportunity to consolidate the already strong Grey4Green consortium and get to know Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city!
Since elderly people feel strongly motivated to help nature conservation by thinking about future generations and being around them, the Municipality of Lousada organized together with the contributions of three schools, tree plantation actions to promote intergenerational volunteering.
The first event involved 37 kids from the 7th grade to the high school, 13 seniors and 3 young volunteers from Associação VERDE. It took place in a public green area- an urban village park- in the village centre. This volunteering action resulted from a partnership between the Grey4Green Lousada team, a local primary and secondary schools and Associação VERDE.
The second one, brought together 42 kids from the primary school, 30 seniors from different parishes and 4 12th-grade students from the high school who are observing and helping to promote Grey4Green activities with the objective of developing work in the discipline of psychology. This volunteering action took place in Mata de Vilar, a very important native forest from the municipality of Lousada. The main goal of both tree plantations was to:
These intergenerational plantations achieved great results, not only because of the number of trees the volunteers
planted – 276 native trees – but also because of empirical knowledge that seniors shared with those kids and young people and the feeling of joy and sense of community lived during the actions.
While the seniors taught the younger ones how to plant trees, they shared their lives and experiences with them.
Also, the younger ones were impressed about how grave seniors were once they had some physical difficulties but even though they kept the focus on the work full of energy and bravery. At the end of both plantations, kids were calling elderly grandparents, which was a very emotional moment. Regarding the ecological result, all the planted trees were native, a demonstration of enhancing the ecological value of the grove in public areas of the territory, promoting biodiversity and contributing to the quality of life in Lousada.
As the impact of these intergenerational volunteer actions has proven to have a great impact on the local communities in terms of increasing civic engagement, especially from elderly and young people, we are planning future similar volunteering actions for 2023. We expect to involve more volunteers from all ages and plant and restore many other areas.