“Green Day”
– $671. (Estonia, 1999)

How a Few Concerned People
Can Generate Enthusiasm
and Bring About Change

Students at Tallinn Technical University wanted to act in favor of cleaner air, cleaner water, and “green” living. Working in cooperation with university officials and local businesses, they organized a set of attention-getting activities which achieved concrete results.

They planted green plants in classrooms, in large pots so they would not be stolen in the future. They had arranged in advance for teachers to separate and save waste paper, and on the Green Day they collected 15 tons of paper which they transported to a recycling center. To celebrate the opening of a bicycle parking area, they made a human chain bicycle figure, and then had a large cake.

The project’s financial report shows the support and also the fun that “Green Day” generated: “The cake cost more than we planned. We had a feeling that students are very hungry and capable to eat even a very big cake. And the students were excellent, they ate 10 kilograms of cake in 20 minutes time… We received free transport for the paper from a waste management company Ragn-Sells, including the transport for regular paper collection from the university in the future. Tallinn Technical University bought the bike parking area and small containers for paper, and gave us a room where to listen to the lecture on sustainable development.”

Green Day activities are now an annual tradition. They build leadership through practical experience. Membership in student environmental clubs throughout Tallinn has grown, because the successful activities generate enthusiasm and optimism. Matching fund support grew from a total of $50 in the first year (1998) to $700 in the second year.






Estonian Projects
Year Seven
(1999 – 2000)

Green Day (Third Year) – $992. Estonian Youth Nature Protection, Allan Kokkota. Popularizing environmental issues with university students involved the traditional activities such as planting trees, collecting paper for recycling, encouraging bicycle use, and showing others how to make their universities more environmentally friendly. This event was promoted with T-shirts and stickers. Five different university student environmental clubs coordinated their efforts. (WWF-International Leadership Training Grant).

Multiple Use Landscape Planning – $893. Sorex (Estonian Students Society for Environmental Protection), Liis Truubon. Young people (Estonian university students) planned and led an international youth work camp to restore the Toila park area in Ida-Viru county. The organizers needed to learn budget management and public relations skills as well as using their ecological knowledge. (WWF-International Leadership Training Grant).

Environmental Impact of Globalization – $645. Estonian Green Movement, Peep Mardiste. Printing and distribution of an Estonian-language booklet will make Estonians more aware of environmental implications of globalization. It will include explanations of institutions such as the World Trade Organization and concepts such as trade liberalization. The booklet will be given to main public libraries, and uploaded on the Green Movement website. Volunteers had already done the writing and translating, but needed money to cover printing costs for the 200 copies.

Household Composting Training Course for Families – $917. Society of Friends of Tallinn Botanical Garden, Heiki Tamm. This course will benefit the economy and ecology of the Pirita residential area, as families will learn how to build compost heaps and bins, control pests, and use compost in their gardens. Matching funds: $68 (Tallinn Botanical Garden).

Creating Effective Environmental Education in Soomaa National Park – $430. Friends of Soomaa, Tonis Korts. Soomaa National Park was founded six years ago. On its 400 km2 territory, about 100 people live separately on single farms. They lack information about laws and rules designed to protect nature in the park area. The park has only three employees, and cannot systematically inform the local people about these issues. In this project, volunteers from Viljandi Cultural College will organize and present that information which answers local residents’ questions and explains the purpose of the park rules.

With Open Eyes in West Estonia – $521. Lihula Ecogroup, Kaja Lotman. Discussion of local ecological problems will lead to creation of a data base, from which students and teachers will develop a plan of action to make improvements. Matching funds: $110 (Ministry of Environment in Estonia).

Nedrema Wooded Meadow – $719. Koonga Looduse Sihtasutus, Marek Sammul. Creation of a 5 km nature path, including information stands, will help to preserve the ecosystem and alert residents and visitors to its protected and endangered species. This is part of a community development project to build up infrastructure for ecotourism. Matching funds: $466 (Naturvernforbundet I Buskerud, Norway).

Nesting Birds – $518. Estonian Ornithological Society, Jaanus Elts This project focused on restoring and preserving a ground habitat which is a significant area for large birds, who nest in holes in the ground rather than in trees.

Devonian Sandstone Trail – $280. Tartu Student Nature Protection Circle, Ethel Uibopuu, Alar Valdmann. Creation and maintenance of a nature trail at a sandstone outcrop contributes to public education and recreation. Matching funds: $85.




Estonian Projects
Year Six
(1998 – 1999)

Work Camp at Tabasalu Nature Park – $996. NGO Estonian Fund for Nature, Toomas Trapido. About 100 volunteers took part in clean-ups and trail building in preparation for the opening of a mixed conservation and public nature recreation area in North Estonia. National press coverage promoted the park and its landscape architect.

Tagamoisa Wooded Meadow Restoration (Stage Two) – $996. Estonian Seminatural Community Conservation Association– Heikki Luhamaa. Organized work actions to maintain another wooded meadow continued this year, expanding to a new area and involving new volunteers. Matching funds: $300 (Koonga Fund for Nature).

Ecological Life Style on the Islands – $581. Saaremaa Green Cabinet, Enda Naaber. These funds encouraged a variety of projects to promote environmental activities and awareness among schoolchildren and their parents. Matching funds: $100 (Muhu Municipality).

Polva County Environmental Education Days – $890. Polva High School and Regional Forest Department, Ed Greenberg (Peace Corps Volunteer). Forty Russian and Estonian speaking students from Ida-Viru, Tartu and Polva counties participated in two days of discussions governmental and NGO leaders, and joined in the Taevaskoja Park Clean-Up. Matching funds: $843 (Polva County).

Green Day (Second Year) – $671. Estonian Youth Nature Protection Club, Allan Kokkota. This year’s project involved more people in the paper recycling campaign, organized a bicycle parking area on Tallinn University campus, and provided potted plants for classroom areas. Matching funds and in-kind support: $700 (waste company, university, other local businesses).

Revealing Nature’s Beauty on Hanja Heights – $1000. Tartu Students Nature Protection Circle, Kaja Riiberg. This project restored three scenic view sites. As a part of the process, student volunteers worked together with government officials, and made the public aware of the ecological and recreational problems caused by the decline in farming.

Rocca al Mare Nature Trail – $980. Lillekula High School, Linda Metsaorg. Publishing a guidebook, marking the nature trail and conducting walking tours has encouraged local residents as well as visitors to learn more about environmental issues in the Tallinn area. Matching funds: $200 (REC).

Nature, Human Being, Environment – $971. Kuressaare Gymnasium, Marie Meius. A two-day walking tour and study trip introduced 35 teachers from different parts of Saaremaa to local natural sites, and connected environmental preservation efforts to Saaremaa’s cultural heritage. Matching funding: $706 (participants).



Estonian Projects
Year Five
(1997 – 1998)

Re-establishing Seminatural Communities in Wooded Meadows (Stage One) – $800. Estonian Seminatural Community Conservation Association, Toomas Kukk. Clearing brush and fast-growing junipers (a function formerly performed by sheep) is needed to preserve the species diversity in wooded meadows. Most of this grant was spent for a professional brush saw, which was later loaned to several other NGOs in different parts of Estonia, for the same purpose. Matching funds: $100 (Estonian Environmental Fund, Halinga Forest Department).

Paper Recycling Opportunities – $800. Estonian Green Movement, Forestry Working Group Different kinds of activities (creating a database, monitoring paper consumption and waste, street pick-ups) were designed to raise public awareness of the need for paper recycling.

Trees are not just Timber – $428. Forest Youth, Kulli Relve. A follow-up for the volunteers from different counties who worked on the Old Single Tree project last year; this 2-day seminar was held to increase their ecological awareness and to spread knowledge of the folklore and traditions connected with the trees.

Project “Green Day” (First Year) – $800. BEST-Estonia & Estonian Youth Nature Protection Association, Allan Kokkota. University student groups organized activities such as opening a battery recycling site, dramatically promoting bicycle use, and collecting used paper from around the campus, as well as seminars on ecological themes. All events of the day were designed to raise student interest and involvement. Matching funds: $50 (private businesses).

Environmental Youth Action in Hiiumaa – $800. TELO Nature House, Tiina Pedak. Practical work to protect the alvar landscape on Hiiumaa island was combined with a seminar and landscape studies. In-kind support from West-Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve and the Environmental Department of Hiiumaa County.

Partsi-Leevi-Ilumetsa Hiking Trail – $800. Cooperative Efforts of 8 groups, Peep Tobruluts. After the work was done to clear and mark the trail, publication of an informative booklet about the river and its flora and fauna helped to encourage local public use as well as tourism. Matching funds: $2155 (Regional Park, Forest District, and others).



Estonian Projects
Year Four

Black-tailed Godwit – $375. Lihula Okoklubi, Kaja Lotman. Participants restored a breeding site of the Black-tailed Godwit, once a typical inhabitant of the coastal wetlands. They also made a nature trail on the outer perimeter and prepared a leaflet about the project and the problems.

Environmental Action on the River Prandi – $988. Estonian Environmental Women’s Union, Liivi Rehela. A ditch and deposition pond for reducing agricultural runoff were dug 15 years ago, but had not been cleared since. By planting trees, digging out the ditch and pond, and reconstructing a path and small bridge, this action was designed to protect the river. Matching funds: $500 (Local farms).

Day of Nature Study at School – $513. Tartu Ecology Club Kablik, Ene Ord. A seminar on active environmental education for school teachers included lectures, practical training in the forest center, and discussions. Tartu Nature House and Municipal Government provided in-kind support.

Old Single Tree – $979. Forest Youth, Hendrik Relve. The “Forest Youth” organized a census of old trees in Estonia, including measurements of each ancient tree, and local legends about it. These data and the publicity led to increased national and local interest in strengthening nature protection laws and activities. Matching funds: $1000 (REC).

Save Wooded Meadows in Hiiumaa – $993. Tallinn Nature House, Tiina Pedak. Plant species concentration in wooded meadows is very high (63 species per one square meter), but these ecosystems can be overgrown very quickly. In five days of action, students from different regions of Estonia worked together with local private farmers to clear brush and maintain the biodiversity of this area. In-kind support was provided by West Estonian Biosphere Reserve.

Videoproject for Tallinn Schools – $1025. Estonian Green Movement, Waste Project ’96, Meelis Jahnson. This group’s educational videotape about waste management problems was distributed free of charge to all schools in Tallinn. Sweden’s Green Party assisted in this project.

Field Work in Saaremaa – $922. Saaremaa Nature School, Indrek Peil. For their freshwater monitoring project, this group needed hiking and camping equipment. Matching funds: $6350 (Central European University), $750 (Town Council).



Estonian Projects
Year Three

Attention to Coastal Birds – $467. Ecology Club of Lihula Gymnasium, Kaja Lotman. Nature studies including bird counts demonstrated the importance of coastal habitats to migrating birds. Matching funding: $275, Matsalu Nature Reserve & Lihula Gymnasium

Nature Path on the Pakri Peninsula – $959. Eesti Paeliit / Estonian Limestone Union, Rein Einasto.

This project organized volunteers to create a nature trail along the limestone cliffs of the Pakri peninsula, and to clean up the debris left behind when the Soviet naval base was closed. Matching funds: $970 (Local Forestry Department and City Council).

Foundation of the Verdant Area of the School – $545. Keskkonnaklubi Scarabeus, Helgi Muoni. Planting and maintenance of green areas around a school provides restfulness and hope to all who walk near it. Five large birches and 420 hawthorns were planted. Matching funds: $200 (Tartu City Council).

Sustainable Living Style – $959. Tartu Okoloogiaklubi Kablik, Kulli Kalamees. A series of seminars and activities dramatized nature-friendly living, such as energy saving and sustainable consumption. Matching funds: $320 (Tartu Nature House).

Workshop About Protected Areas – $634. Forest Youth, Kulli Relve. This organization of young people was started with this grant, which enabled them to gather in an educational outdoor setting and carry out a specific tree protection project. Matching funds: $200 (Karula National Park Administration).

Green Wall (Stage Two) – $354. Ardu Basic School, Andres Ois. Additional trees and shrubs were planted around the school. The work was done by students, teachers and parents. Matching funds: $268 (Municipality).

Environmental Youth Action in Hiiumaa – $986. TELO Loodusmaja, Tiina Pedak. Students under the direction of wildlife reserve specialists learned about fragile plant and animal life in wooded meadows and coastal regions. They cleaned a nature path as part of an effort to reduce the damage caused by tourists.





Estonian Projects
Year Two

Improvement of Radiation Safety – $660. Estonian Green Movement, Heino Kroon. Purchase of a radiation detector enabled EGM members to investigate reports of illegally discarded radioactive materials, and to communicate their findings to scientists, officials, and the general public. Matching funds: $355 (Miljoforbundet).

Ecological Expedition for Town Children – $518. Nature House, Tiina Pedak. During an expedition to South Estonia, thirty students got experience in fieldwork, including estimating air pollution in different places in Estonia. Also, after doing research in the park near the Nature House in Tallinn, they carried out a clean-up action there. Matching funds: $90.

“Chernobyl 1986: Memoirs of an Estonian Clean-up Worker” – $1196. Tallinn Green Movement, Mati Rahu. This first-hand account was published in English as a project of the Tallinn Green Movement and the Estonian Cancer Registry. Copies were distributed to Chernobyl clean-up survivors and medical personnel in the three Baltic countries. Matching funds: $600 (IECM).

Green Wall (Stage One) – $500. Ardu Basic School, Andres Ois. Teachers, parents and students planted small trees around the school, as a first step toward beautifying the public area.

The Birds – $504. Viljandi 1 Secondary School, Hilje Nurmsalu. Bird-watching activities introduced students to the interdependence of living things, the importance of different habitats, and the concept of nature protection. Matching funds: $210 (County and Estonian Environmental Fund).

Environmental Activity Programmes – $500. Ecology Club, Tartu Nature House, Kulli Kalamees. A series of hands-on activities involved young people in after-school projects, such as planning ways to reduce air and noise pollution from vehicle traffic. Seminars and a booklet helped to spread these successful ideas to teachers in different schools. Matching funds: $100.

Environmental Camp for Estonian and Russian students in Keila-Joa – $750. Estonian Green Movement / Tallinn Nature House, Valdur Lahtvee / Maris Laja. Teenagers from Estonian-speaking and Russian-speaking families came together for a week of nature clean-up work, excursions, and cooperative activities. The language differences were bridged by the camp’s focus on English language practice, aided by teachers from Denmark. Matching funds: $6100 (private donations, EPCE, Danish teachers’ organization, and others).



Estonian Projects
Year One

Green Oasis in Stone Desert – $490. Estonian Youth Nature House, Leili Kink. To develop an indoor greenery and aquarium to provide enjoyment of nature during the long northern winter, and to educate young people concerning protection for species and natural systems.

Mapping Expedition in Korvemaa Landscape Protection Area – $420. Estonian Youth Nature House, Kulli Relve. In comparison with other European countries, much more untouched nature exists in Estonia, including primeval forest. To map these territories is an important first step toward conservation management.

Mapping of Paldiski Area – $500. Ad Hoc Green Group, Leida Lepik. Creation and publication of a large scale topographic map of a former Soviet military zone and nuclear submarine port will provide information on chemical and nuclear contamination.

Open Air Ecology Classes Around Tartu – $500. Tartu Youth Ecology Club, Helle Kont. Nature trails in the valley of the Emajogi River will link different floodplain and bank landscapes and nearby forests and peat bogs. Open to the public, these will be useful for teaching the principles of biodiversity.

Clean-Up of the Arukula Caves – $500. Tartu Group of Young Geologists; Sirje Janikson. The Arukula Caves were hollowed out in the Devonian sandstone near Tartu, and possibly extended by human intervention. They contain fossils of primeval fish. Cleaning the caves as a natural historical site, and drawing a schematic map, involved students in nature preservation.

Phenological Studies – $390. Estonian Youth Nature House, Anne Kivinukk. Studies of climate-related biological activities, such as bird migration and plant flowering, increase appreciation of nature and teach schoolchildren the scientific method of data collection. The tradition of phenological studies in Estonia dates back to the Estonian Naturalists Society in 1951. This project issued a new handbook and organized students and teachers in order to resume these studies.

EcoSeminar – $500. Estonian Youth Nature House, Maris Laja. In conjunction with the Estonian Baltic Sea Project, an ecoseminar for 80 schoolchildren and 10-15 teachers and scientists was held at Karepa, North Estonia. Working groups studied pathways of pollution, water quality of rivers and of the Baltic sea, coastal vegetation, and bioindicators.