The Alder Trees Are Back!

When the seconded teacher - Jorge Fernandes and LPN technician Andreia Lança arrived at the Boiça park, in the parish of Valongo do Vouga (Águeda) to promote the Forest Literacy Project, they were surprised by all the dynamics involved.


The Boiça Park located on the banks of the Ribeira da Aguieira had recently been rehabilitated by citizens' proposal under the participatory budget of the Municipality of Águeda, in a project carried out by the parish of Valongo do Vouga that had the full funding of the municipality and the support of the Portuguese Environment Agency enabling the restoration in an ecologically sustainable space.






Coinciding with the national invasive species week and the environment week promoted by the Municipality of Águeda, teachers, municipal technicians and the educational community were already prepared and involved in activities of the Forest Literacy project with students from the Valongo do Vouga School Grouping. Among these activities, the ones proposed in the online sessions designed by LPN's technicians Ana Sofia Ribeiro and Rita Alves, such as building nests and bird feeders, stood out.



The movement was intense and soon we went towards the Pavilion of the Interpretive Center of the Park to introduce the theme of the importance of the Forest, emphasizing the importance of native species and the problem of invasives, continuing the third session of the project which consisted of a field trip.


Meanwhile we were interviewed by Águeda Tv explaining the importance of the LPN's Forest Literacy project as the teacher Benvinda Tavares responsible for the project in the School, who mentioned "being the first time that students go outside the four walls to which they are confined, resulting from the pandemic throughout this school year, so it is to see the enthusiasm that these children have and the sensitivity to nature which is very important and increasingly so.





The Aguieira stream, at the same time, is a great example of the Rios Project, a project by Pedro Teiga that explained to the students in a very motivating and didactic way the process of valorization of the natural landscape of the stream, that solved the problem of the falling walls and the degradation of the stream, turning it into a demonstrative example of the natural based techniques applied and that allowed new dynamics of promotion and environmental education to be introduced, implementing in the space a laboratory of rivers, in the scope of LabRios+.





In an area that was quite degraded, full of acacias, rubble was removed, ramps for fish were built, and on the banks of the stream were placed native species, such as alders (Alnus glutinosa). Pedro Teiga explained the importance of the alders, which are autochthonous and in danger of disappearing. Their disappearance is due to disease caused by an invasive species as well as other abiotic pressures (climate and hydrological changes). The alder is a tree that is a fundamental component of riparian vegetation because it enriches the soil with nitrogen and is beneficial for agriculture and there are at least 90 species of insects associated with this tree.







And so "the Alder trees came back"... with the Forest Literacy Project involved, but essentially, the dream of a population that sowed the seeds through their ideas, on behalf of the collective welfare, going from Valongo do Vouga to the World and showing that it is possible to value the territory.

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