It´s a new year, new rivers, new riverwalkers, new places.
One year has passed and the walkers are back, getting to know each other at the lake of Cavazzo in Italy. Today, 20 people from Slovenia, Italy and Austria met for the first time.
So here we are at the beautiful camping ground near the lake and ready to start this new adventure. The lake of Cavazzo is welcoming us with its amazing green-blue color, absolutely quiet surface and brightest sunshine.
But first things first: A jump into the lake was absolutely necessary and cooled us down more than we expected! (brrr…)
However, the sunshine, the nice lunch and the getting-to-know-us-games warmed us up again. We introduced ourselves not just by telling our names and talking about our motivation for the walk. We also introduced ourselves by telling a partner the story of a personal item we brought. Then we exchanged our personal objects and shared the story of our partner´s item with a different person.
In another game, accompanied by Nate´s magic mandoline music, we were invited to reflect on our wishes and expectations as well as on possible problems and obstacles. For some it might have been a relief that others were also worried about heavy backpacks, bad weather, poor sleeping conditions or dirty and wet clothes 😉
Later, the pioneers, namely the riverwalkers of 2014, presented the history, the goals and the spirit of the project until they turned to this year´s challenge 🙂
In order to split up the tasks, family groups with creative names such as „Lemon, Peace or Green Zebra, etc.“ were established. By now, the cooks are ready to cook, the bloggers ready to blog, the guides ready to guide, the motivators ready to motivate, the paparazzis ready to paparaz and the helpers ready to …
…but before we fell into bed, we had a great first dinner and interesting presentations about the WWF Save the Alpine Rivers Project presented by Christoph, Irena, and Marina. We heard the inside story about the Soca and Tagliamento Rivers. What stood out most for us were these comments:
„Only 11% of the Alpine Rivers are still in an unbuilt, natural state, and shouldn’t we protect these last remaining rivers?“
„The Tagliomento River is threatened to be regulated for flood control – in established Natura2000 areas.“
„While some parts of rivers may be protected, that depending on the political will, rules can be bent.“
„A relatively small project like Riverwalk, could have a larger impact than we think! People are interested in hearing reasons why young people, in particular, would walk for nature protection!“