The Russian Far East harbors diverse and spectacular wildlife, including many endangered species. Muraviovka Park, in the Amur Region of Russia, was established in 1996. The park’s wetlands provide excellent habitat for approximately 200 bird species, including more than 20 rare and endangered species. After implementing better management practices and environmental education, crane and stork populations in this area greatly increased. Continuing environmental education programs in this area are needed to ensure the success of this important wildlife area.
The International Crane Foundation has been influential in supporting environmental education in this area. International workshops and summer camps are held at the park, bringing together teachers, students, and nature reserve staff from the Russian Far East and all over the world. The Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program provided funding in 2007 for Melissa Babich, bird trainer at Minnesota Zoo, to participate in this project. Melissa helped facilitate a two-day teacher workshop focusing on environmental education teaching strategies. She then taught middle-school children at a 9-day environmental education camp at Maraviovka Park, overlooking the floodplains of the Amur River.