The commendable volunteer programme aiming to clean up an astonishing Croatian natural gem doubles as a free vacation. Sounds good?
Remember that time we wrote about the environmental disaster in Telašćica Nature Park? In September 2017, when the wider Zadar area got hit by heavy rainfall causing flash floods, large quantities of waste were washed away from a hill above Telašćica down to the coast.
This makes for just one of the many incidents which continuously add to the overall pollution of the sea by plastic. Latest data showed the seas around the world get polluted by an additional 12 million tonnes of plastic each year, and the Adriatic isn’t an exception to the rule.
The majority of tourists visiting the Croatian coast every summer are drawn to our shores by the promise of crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, and we should all do our part to keep those waters and beaches in the best possible state. Mediterranean as it once was, so to speak.
In case you’re planning a holiday in Croatia this summer and want to do something useful during your stay here, we have a suggestion: Telašćica Nature Park has launched a volunteer programme called Eco Patrol. The cleanup action will take place in June: accompanied by the staff working in the Park, volunteers will be picking up debris from several locations in Telašćica and sorting the collected waste so it could be taken away for recycling.
Some details on the schedule: volunteers are expected to work from Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 1pm daily. The cleanup will primarily be carried out on the coast, in several bays which have the biggest recorded quantity of waste lining the beaches.
Free accommodation is provided in a shared dorm room at Mir bay in the Park, with a bathroom and toilets located in a separate object some 20 metres away from the dorm. Volunteers will also be provided one meal a day, and the Park will take care of transport from the accommodation facility to all locations where cleanup actions are to take place.
What to do after your morning shift? You can rent a bike, a scooter, or a small boat and explore the Park and the entire Dugi otok island. Sali town, located some 7hm away from the dorm, offers plenty of restaurants, konobas and cafés where you can relish the local cuisine. And of course, you have numerous cycling and hiking trails in the Park at your disposal, along with many an unspoilt beach for some quality leisure time. One more tip – Kornati National Park is just a boat ride away…
Interested? Head to ‘Volunteer in Parks of Croatia’ website and fill out this form. Don’t forget to select Telašćica on the drop-down list at the top, and don’t worry about the olive tree business – just make sure to note you’re interested in the Eco Patrol in your message. Good luck!
Photo credit: Volunteer in Parks of Croatia