Friday July 23, ten dedicated Peace Corps Volunteers started cleaning the trail heading to Mt. Yayko Ilems’ke. This trail starts at the end of a 25km logging road. It is a popular blueberry picking spot and a very popular hiking trail.
The PCV’s, from all over Ukraine, volunteered to work for 5 days. Armed with chainsaws, hand saws, pruning tools and lots of garbage sacks they started by picking up the garbage left at the trail head.
“In less than thirty minutes, we had collected 6 bags of vodka and beer bottles,” said volunteer Andrew Gatti. “Sadly, this is common on every trail we have been on in the Carpathians,” said Robin Eleazer.
The NGO, Community Fund of Dolyna has developed a full awareness campaign which includes signs about not littering, and education on taking care of the forests. We believe that reporters like Ira greatly help in this campaign and will make a difference in the littering problem. PCV's Robin and Jim have spent two years in Dolyna and have lead two community clean-ups with youth. Although litter campaign are popular in America, Ukraine has just started these here.
The volunteers will tent camp and work their way towards the cabin at Yayko. Journalist Ira Tymchyshyn a freelancer from the newspaper “Reporter” interviewed project manager, Jim Eleazer and then accompanied the team to the mountain. Ira spent the morning also picking up garbage and interviewing the volunteers.
This is the fourth work group that Jim has organized this summer. On August 5th another group from Kyiv Pricewaterhouse Cooper corporate responsibility team, Bolekviv Forestry College, and 15 community volunteers will reroof another cabin in the mountain and clean trails.