This week, the most important centre for learning and exploring nature in the Făgăraș Mountains was officially inaugurated by Conservation Carpathia in Sătic, Rucăr commune, Argeș county. The event took place in the presence of representatives of local and national authorities, of teachers and students from the area and the vicinity of the Făgăraș Mountains.
The Richita activity centre offers the best conditions for discovering the living world: activities for groups of up to 30 people, who can explore nature within the protected forests of the foundation, directly, throughout the year. The place has everything needed to host nature exploration activities and programs for all schools in the area, universities, organizations in Romania and abroad interested in nature conservation.
The centre also offers programs and learning space for internships for students and training seminars in the field of research, nature education, protected natural areas. For the organized groups, the foundation’s specialists prepared workshops and experiences in nature. Most of the educational activities will take place outdoors, in the foundation forests and along the Dâmbovița River, which is in the vicinity of the Richita Centre.
The Richita Centre is not only a place in the heart of nature, dedicated to experiences and knowledge of the environment, but also a landmark for people from neighbouring local communities.
The staff of the centre are part of the local communities, and the food is purchased through another project of the foundation, the Food HUB ‘The fruits of the mountains’, which supports small local producers in the area.
In addition to the permanent employees from the local community, the activities are supported by nature educators prepared by the foundation together with partners, mountain guides, rangers and volunteers.
“Education is one of the most important pillars in the development of future generations being prepared, in the true sense of the word, for a sustainable world,” said Barbara Promberger, executive director Conservation Carpathia. “In this sense, within the LIFE Carpathia project, financed by the European Commission through the LIFE Nature program, the foundation together with the partners from ProPark will carry out a series of educational activities with dozens of young people from the Făgăraș Mountains area. Thus, with the help of the activities developed within the Richita Centre, young people are closer to nature, will ‘taste’ it and will understand better the importance of preserving it for a life in harmony.”
Beyond European funding, the FCC is already in talks with various partners to provide comprehensive educational programs to schools in the region.
Facilities within the Richita Centre
The Richita Centre provides all the necessary learning infrastructure to high standards, despite the fact that we are talking about a building in the middle of the forest for 30 people. It is equipped with solid wooden tables and chairs, made by local carpenters, and presentation equipment. For those who intend to spend more than one day here, they will have access to four large bedrooms with private bathroom for students, with a capacity of 28 beds. The centre has a fully equipped kitchen and meals can be served during the summer on the outdoor veranda.
From a forestry cabin to a centre for the future
The original Richita cabin was built in the early 1980s by the National Directorate of Forests ROMSILVA. We bought it in 2013 and started renovating it in 2018 in order to turn it into the largest centre of activities and nature exploration. We have followed the vision of the well-known architect Jan Hülsemann, who has left his mark on many historic buildings renovated in a responsible way from a natural and cultural point of view, in Transylvania.
All construction works were carried out by small companies and local craftsmen. Today, Richita is a highly energy efficient building, with natural materials, based on 100% renewable energy. It ensures a healthy, comfortable environment with a minimal impact on nature. Thus, we are talking about 49 photovoltaic panels (80 m²) that capture solar energy and transform it into electricity for the internal consumption of the cabin. Also, the cabin has a thermal power plant and an electrical power plant (21kW thermal and 10kW electricity) that complete the energy needs, operating on rapeseed oil.
The entire building is based on a state-of-the-art wall heating system. Wood fibre, clay and straw materials were used throughout for insulation of the building, and the green roof is covered with natural grass. The total investment for this project exceeded one million euros and was financed by several foundations.
To find out more about the activities carried out contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the project
The information trip with the media representatives was carried out within the LIFE Carpathia project, LIFE18 NAT/RO/001082 – ‘Creation of a Wilderness Reserve in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, Romania’.
Financial support from: The European Commission through the LIFE Nature programme (www.ec.europa.eu) and the Arcadia Foundation through the ELP program (Endangered Landscapes Programme, www.endangeredlandscapes.org).
The content of this material does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.