Environmental workcamps in Graubünden


Pro Terra Engiadina

Chestnut forest preservation in Misox

25 Jul - 07 Aug 2021

Sent (GR)

01 - 08 Aug 2021

Soazza (GR)

Workcamp: Pro Terra Engiadina (Sent GR)

Description: The Foundation Pro Terra Engiadina (PTE) is a cross-sector foundation which aims to maintain and promote the natural and cultural landscape, as well as biodiversity in the Engadine valley. Given its involvement with many sectors, PTE integrates ecological connectivity into the spatial planning which is one of its strengths. Members of the foundation board are all municipalities of the Lower Engadine, different environmental protection NGOs, the Swiss National Park, the regional Tourism destination, different sections of the Cantonal administration as well as the Cantonal School for farmers.

Type of Work: The focus is on the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity in dry meadows or dry pastures. These high value grasslands are covered in shrubbery in certain parts. Other work depends on weather conditions: clearing shrubbery from dry meadows, low-moor wetlands and along cultural structures; collecting stones to build cairns or dry-stone walls; retrieving branches and stacking them into piles; maintaining water streams; participating in a Littering Project by collecting litter in an area along the main river in Engadine, the Inn River.

Study Theme: During your mission you will mainly help farmers preserve dry meadows and other valuable habitats. An expert will give you an insight on history, ecology and alpine farming in the region, while you help protecting habitats for endangered species and making a positive contribution to the preservation of this precious cultural landscape. PTE usually works without electrical tools, mostly to enjoy the peace and quiet but also to give you an idea of energy and power that ensues from working and spending time together outdoors in the wonderful nature.

Accommodation: The accommodation is a house for groups. For the overnight stays you have to bring a sleeping bag and 1 (fixed) sheet or 2 sheets and 1 pillow case (at least 60cm x 60cm). 1 pillow and 1 woolen blanket per bed are available. Toilets and showers are available in the group house. Access to a washing machine can be arranged.

Language: The local language is Romanic and German. Not everybody on the side of the project partner speaks English well – translation is organized for the introduction and supported by the SCI volunteer coordinator.

Requirements: You absolutely must bring good waterproof mountain or trekking shoes. Gym shoes won’t do it! The working area could be very steep and might be slippery.

More info: https://bit.ly/3qcBIDX

Questions? placement@scich.org

Workcamp: Chestnut forest preservation in Misox (Soazza GR)

Description: The aim of Fondazione Mont Grand is to enhance the landscape of the mountain pasture of Mont Grand near Soazza, where groups of houses are scattered here and there. The foundation takes care of the characteristic sparse chestnut woods, maintains the historic buildings, provides knowledge about biodiversity and cultural history through educational activities and is committed to sustainable tourism. The chestnut forests represent a traditional form of land use that was widespread until after the Second World War and has since been largely abandoned.

Type of Work: The volunteers take care of the chestnut forests. The work mainly involves grass cutting and haymaking between the trees. Under certain circumstances, it may also be possible to carry out other landscape conservation work, such as clearing the bushes, collecting stones, etc. Be aware that the work is physically demanding!

Study Theme: On the one hand the volunteers will get to know all the projects of the Fondazione directly on site during a half-day excursion. On the other hand the volunteers will receive information on botany, biodiversity, history and cultural landscape management during their work.

Accommodation: The volunteers will be accommodated in a building. Mattresses are available. Sleeping bags must be brought by the volunteers themselves. There are sufficient toilets and also showers with hot water. There is no washing machine available. And there is no internet access except through mobile phones (providers Swisscom & Sunrise) – be aware that in Switzerland there are high roaming costs. The volunteers will prepare their own food. Whether they also will shop themselves or give the project partner a shopping list is yet to be determined.

Language: The local language is Italian.

Requirements: The volunteers must bring sturdy mountain boots, clothes for working, raingear (a waterproof jacket etc.), as well as clothing suitable for sunny weather. There are a lot of ticks in the area, so it is advisable to bring working gloves, tweezers, and/or tick repellents.

More info here.

Questions? placement@scich.org

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