When visitors first arrive to Lviv, they are fascinated by its architecture and charm. But when they stay in the city longer than a week, they may need to escape the crowds and noise for a bit. Lviv’s parks can help with this.
The greatest of them all is Park Znesinnya. It’s a forested, massive park that stretches from the centre of Lviv to its edges. Recently, the park office received two volunteers from Germany, Peggy Lade (24) and Susanna Kornet (24), from GLEN program (Global Learning Education Network for Young Europeans). Here is what they say about the park:
“Despite the great recreational value, including the forest, lakes, trails, bike routes, unique geological examples of rocks, not to mention beautiful city views, it seems that many locals are not very familiar with the park area. This is what we want to change. We have been so amazed by the beauty of Park Znesinnya that we felt a desire to share our fascination and to promote it,” say the volunteers.
Their most ambitious project is to revitalise the old railway tracks stretching across the park for 8 kilometres. They are part of the national railway system, but are used only occasionally by a local factory. Instead of trains, the volunteers decided that bicycles could use them too.
They connected with local enthusiasts, who agreed to make the platform design, and found one person who could actually build the platform. The idea has long been evolving in the mind of Oleksandr Zavadovich, deputy director of the park and contact person of the volunteers. In less than two month’s time from their arrival in Lviv, the first test platform was running along the track powered by the pedals of a bicycle.
The opening event on 2 November featured the photo contest of the park, a bike repair station, a workshop on climate friendly mobility, a film screening using a pedal power generator, a campfire with music, snacks, coffee, and tea. Everyone was invited to join. Check out the photos on the park’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/park.znesinnya).
Sadly, Peggy and Susi finished their term in Lviv in November. The park, however, is always open to new volunteers with enthusiasm to make things better. It appears that volunteers can play an important role in developing park attractions and promoting them. And of course, it makes green spaces more accessible for locals and travellers in search of a break from the city buzz.