Wetland Park activists are not landscape designers or engineers, of course. Therefore, in developing the details of the park, its technical and design solutions, we will fully rely on the experience and competence of the relevant professionals.
However, we have absolutely clearly articulated the philosophy of the future park, its purpose, the basic principles on which the development, implementation and operation of Osokorky Wetland Park should be based, as well as its form and structure. And we will insist that the specialists who deal with the detailed design of the park, not only take into account our vision of the park, but take the following basic principles as the source for their work.
We will also insist that future park projects be submitted to the Community for consideration on a competitive basis.
Let nature be reproduced, and it will help you re-create.
All methods of setting up the park, measures designed to ensure its functioning, which will be taken in the future in its territory, should be subject primarily to the principle of environmental protection. This will mean that, for example:
All technical and design solutions must be based on the latest technologies, requirements and ideas of the modern civilized world on the arrangement of living space. First of all, this pertains to the “city park” zone. We are not interested in and will not be satisfied with the inappropriate whimsical artificial pomp or primitive kicks. Instead, we see our park as such where natural harmony, natural aesthetics, natural line, natural coloring, inherent in our region, natural materials in combination with advanced methods of energy saving and modern trends of design thinking will be met.
Osokorky Wetland Park should become a model for a healthy way of rest for the inhabitants of our district, all Kyiv residents and guests of the city. With its infrastructure and measures, it must not only offer, but also teach the inhabitants of the city to effectively restore their physical and psychological health.
Osokorky Wetland Park with each of its components should become an original and distinctive business card of the Darnytskyi district, rather than a typical parked zone.
The Wetland Park should be an integral structure of the same style, all components of which will form part of a single concept, rather than a set of objects that are different in style and quality. The presence of objects that go against the philosophy, purpose and basic principles of the park is not allowed either.
All materials used for the arrangement and decoration of the park should be natural, and the technologies should be energy-saving, they should not harm the environment (for example, lighting should be directed downwards), harmoniously fit into the natural landscape with minimal interference in the ecosystem of the territory.
There should be all opportunities for a good rest and movement of people with special needs on the territory of the eco-park. The infrastructure and future activities of the park based on it must, in an original, interesting and modern way, cover the interests of the elderly, parents with young children and young people.
In addition, we want to create a small leisure center for the elderly on the base of our Wetland Park, which will be able to visit it several times a week so that under the care of the appropriate staff and volunteer youth they will be able to spend time in a pleasant company and not feel lonely.
This process should take place on an open, transparent and competitive basis with nominations for discussion and approval by the Community. Candidates for leadership positions should submit for consideration by the Community their concepts, development plans, consistent with the main principles of the park. In addition, the management of the eco-park should be selected at the stage of construction/arrangement of the park.
For more detail about compliance with the principles, see the “Elements of the organization” section for each of the three zones of the eco-park.
The Wetland Park should be divided into three zones:
1) city park and active recreation zone
2) nature protection zone with possibilities of restorative and cognitive recreation.
3) sites in the nature protection zone with a high degree of protection and severely restricted access
The eco-park total area in accordance with the boundaries specified in the figure is approximately 650 hectares, of which 176.5 hectares (including lake Nebrezh) is leased to “Contactbudservice”, 33.6 hectares leased to the Communal Enterprise “Zhytloinvestbud-UKB”. The area of lake Tiahle is approximately 135 hectares, the area of lake Nebrezh is about 47 hectares. The city park area, excluding lake Nebrezh, is ~ 67 hectares.
From the very beginning, in the Petition 713 “Landscape Natural Park instead of the development of southern Osokorky” to Kyiv City Council, this area was intended primarily to create a landscape natural park to the South of Kolektorna street. However, right in front of our eyes for the past three years, the popularity of the nearby lakes Martyshiv and Nebrezh, which are adjacent to Kolektorna street, has grown many times. Now on weekends during the warm season there are thousands of people on recreation. This is due to the fact that lakes Martyshiv and Nebrezh remained the ones of the few last clean lakes in the city where you can swim. They have comfortable beaches, shores for rest, and are located close to densely populated residential buildings. And the growth dynamics of vacationers’ number indicates that the popularity of these places over time will only increase. Therefore, it is quite logical to create a city recreation park with the appropriate infrastructure on the territory adjacent to Kolektorna street. The city park should also become a buffer zone between residential neighborhoods and the territory having nature-protected status. This will allow to reduce the man-made load on it.
Again, in this document, we avoided as much as possible any technical details, and should be considered solely as “input” from the Community to develop a full-fledged Wetland Park project, which should be prepared by specialists from the relevant design institutions, keeping close feedback from the Community.
As already explained above, the frontal part of the park, adjacent to existing residential neighborhoods, is appropriate to be transformed into an orderly city park with an appropriate recreational infrastructure. It should include the following elements:
1. Children’s playgrounds
This issue must be given special attention. In particular, in Darnytsa and in Kyiv in general, most children’s playgrounds are quite monotonous. Therefore, it makes sense to make part of the park playgrounds unique and special, but at the same time complying with the general concept of the park. As the model of popular, interesting, and unusual playgrounds, you can take children’s playgrounds of the Peizazhna (Landscape) Alley, “Panda Square” near the building of Kyiv Gas on Kikvidze street, “Park of Children’s Time” at SKY Family Park.
The park should include a sufficient number of comfortable benches for rest all over the territory, both in the most popular places, and in the remote quiet ones. By form and type, the benches should be diverse and convenient for use by both large companies and couples, as well as those wishing to be alone in the park. At every bench, there should always be a garbage can of sufficient size.
Central alleyways, playgrounds, etc. should be lit during hours of darkness. But, as already mentioned above, special attention should be paid to the design of lighting fixtures. They should not shine in all directions, but light just the plot on the ground in order to minimize the impact on the park ecosystem, reducing the light clogging of its airspace. Also, lamps should be energy efficient and fit into the main design concept of the park.
4. Furnished tracks for walking and cycling
Walking through the park is one of the most popular leisure activities for people with young children and the elderly. The network of tracks should be thoroughly designed and laid out in such a way that the part of it lies in the shade of trees, where it will be pleasant to go in the heat, another part – in the sun, yet the other one – near the lakes, etc. Some tracks in this area of the park should merge on a route that will continue through the recreational and cognitive park area.
5. Furnished sports grounds
Sufficient physical activity is a guarantee of human health, and this becomes of particular importance in our time of “sitting” leisure. The park should have an infrastructure for various sports.
These should be a playground for beach basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, playgrounds with horizontal bars and gym machines, skate park, archery, etc. And in the winter, there should be a skating rink and the beginning of routes for ski tourism and sledding.
6. Furnished beaches
Lakes Martyshiv and Nebrezh are known throughout Kyiv with its clean water and beautiful beaches and, therefore, in the summer they are filled with people. On the beaches, it is necessary to provide the appropriate infrastructure: cabins for changing clothes, possibility to rent a lounger, rescue service, regular water quality control. Also, on the beach, you need to regularly clean, periodically sprinkle the new sand and professional follow the vegetation, both in the water, and directly near the beach. As noted earlier, the line of the beach should be fragmentary rather than large continuous, in order to maximally preserve the flora and fauna around the reservoirs, which naturally purify the reservoirs and help them to reproduce, as well as for avoidance of demographic overload of reservoirs.
7. Stage for performances and area for spectators
The dimensions of the park allow to allocate enough space for the arrangement of a scene and a playground for spectators. This will allow to hold full-fledged events, various celebrations and festivals, invite musical groups, etc.
8. Venues for walking dogs
It is necessary to provide 1-2 equipped playgrounds for dog walking and training.
9. Rope park, labyrinth, children’s rooms, etc.
One of the main visitors to the park will be parents with children, therefore, in addition to playgrounds, it is necessary to provide elements of the game infrastructure that are very popular among children and young people.
10. Renting bicycles and boats
It is very convenient when there are bike rental facilities next to the park. And for the Wetland Park, the bike is the best way to travel in order to reach its most distant corners. Much of the bikes must be equipped with a children’s bike seat, which will allow you to comfortably ride with a child under the age of 5-7 years.
Numerous lakes, swamps and straits of the Wetland Park are best designed for rides on rowing boats. It is necessary to give people such an opportunity and provide boat rental. It is also necessary to develop appropriate routes for moving on the water, mooring places, etc. Such a vacation on the water can become a highlight of the Wetland Park.
11. Public Restrooms
Low number of public restrooms is a longtime problem of Kyiv parks, and, therefore, it is necessary to make sure in advance that there are enough of them. In addition, they should be made of durable and hygienic materials.
Considering how difficult it is to park on the day off because of the lack of vacant spaces somewhere near the popular Kyiv park, it is necessary to provide a large parking lot (lots) in the area of the central entrance to the park along Kolektorna street.
13. Planting and landscaping
Although the future park itself has a sufficient number of trees, it is necessary to make additional planting of this part of the territory in the form of flowerbeds, ornamental “alpine slides”, and to plant ornamental trees and bushes near the alleys. However, they do not have to dominate and create a sense of artificiality, instead they should harmoniously emphasize the already existing nature of the park and be typical of the local landscape.
In this zone, it is appropriate to provide areas to implement the best works based on the results of landscape design competitions on a permanent basis, such as the “Landscape Spring” at Hryshko National Botanical Garden.
14. Places equipped for fishing
Lakes of the Wetland Park are very popular among fishermen. It is necessary to provide equipped areas for sports fishing in lakes Martyshiv, Nebrezh and Tiahle.
15. A building that would fit the general style and concept of a park with transformer rooms for holding discussion clubs, symposiums, meetings, master classes, circles for children and adults to work with natural materials (pottery, carving, straw products, assembly of dry bouquets and plant compositions); with a hall or a pavilion for exhibitions, a museum-exhibition hall of Osokorky/Pozniaky villages, a hall for the sale of souvenirs, books on nature, etc., an information center, a consulting center for the care of decorative, garden and vegetable garden plants, a place of registration for regional and nature excursions, a room for administration, rental center, etc.
16. A stylish cafes with useful and traditional dishes from our region, for example, “Kitchen of Osokorky village” with special dishes, such as baked reed mace root, cake or bread made of reed mace flour, delicacies made of althea, or gooseberry salad, etc.
17. An equipped place to hold fairgrounds, for example, for the exhibition-festival “Day of a Summer Resident”, “Festival of Jam”, festive fairs, etc.
18. An equipped zone for a large fire.
19. Arrangement of sites for artistic activities.
20. Zones with pavilions for recreation of large companies.
Quite ambiguous, painful and important issue. There are currently 2 locations where such pavilions are concentrated: on the northern shore of lake Nebrezh and on the eastern shore of lake Martyshiv. The pavilions are arranged at random, often directly on the lake shore, among bushes and trees broken during their installation, and look very sloppy. Garbage after vacationers often stays for weeks before it is taken out, or is generally hidden in the neighboring bushes. Almost every pavilion has a barbecue smoking, and inside the pavilion alcoholic beverages are used. All this creates inconveniences for other holidaymakers and in no way can be combined with the philosophy and concept of the Wetland Park.
But, at the same time, the pavilions are a very popular gathering place for large (10-30 people) companies during the warm season. Birthday celebrations, alumni meetings, etc. They are perfect for such events, and this can not be neglected. Therefore, it is possible to foresee 1-2 locations to place the pavilions and bring them in proper shape. Clear rules for the use of pavilions (working hours, maintenance of environmental cleanliness, holidaymakers’ behavior, etc.) should be developed.
Zones with pavilions should be taken away from water, as the food remains attracted by rats and mice, which are the carriers of deadly-dangerous infections for people. First of all, it is a leptospirosis, which can be swallowed by swallowing water with pathogens while bathing in a lake.
Unlike the “city park and active recreation area” zone, the second part of the park is designed to provide visitors with all the possibilities, first of all, for psychological recovery. Conditions must be created here, but rather simply preserved in order to stay in silence, to enjoy the picturesque landscapes, the aroma of flowers and herbs, to listen to birds singing, to walk in a comfortable pace along the health trails, to breathe in fresh air, to ride a bike, to run on skis in winter time. And also, to discover, to open up for themselves, for their child, the world of birds, animals and plants that live nearby.
Regardless of which nature conservation status (national park, nature reserve or wildlife park) will be received by Pivdenni Osokorky, the infrastructure arrangement for recreational needs of the population will be the same.
Taking into account the world experience of arranging such territories, the infrastructure needs in this part of the park are minimal.
1. Trails for walking and cycling.
Most of the routes can run just across the land, without any kind of equipment. Places with large puddles should be sprinkled, and minimum drainage of water should be arranged, for example, from sprinkled shallow gravel.
Since a large part of the eco-park is marshy, some routes need to be raised to a certain height above ground level. Typically, such elevated trails are made of boards.
During the time of reckless and unprofessional management of this land by the tenant, some small water reservoirs were dug across or covered. They need to be restored, as they are an integral part of a holistic aquatic ecosystem. If necessary, convenient reliable bridges should be installed across them.
2. Places for rest.
It is necessary to arrange places for rest approximately every 200-300m of the main routes. These could be benches where you can sit down; small dry lawns, where you can sit/simply lay down just on a roll mat or something similar.
The same places should be also arranged directly on the lake shores and above the water itself in the form of small piers.
Comfortable benches should also be installed in places where you can watch the most picturesque views of the Wetland Park.
3. Observation towers.
On the territory of the Wetland Park, several small observation towers for admiring landscapes and observation of birds and animals should be arranged in the most suitable places. Binoculars for such observations can be rented at the entrance to the park. There should also be an opportunity to order the services of an instructor-guide, who will help to spend the time of observation in the most interesting, cognitive and fruitful way.
4. Information stands.
In the beginning and throughout the main routes, information stands with a map and length of routes, as well as information about representatives of local flora and fauna, etc. should be established.
5. Interactive game boards.
Also throughout the entire route, it is necessary to install interactive boards with special interesting games, designed to better know the surrounding nature, its flora and fauna.
Holidays in tents near the lakes are very popular during the warm season. It would be appropriate to allocate two arranged areas for tent cities, the first one – on the southern shore of lake Nebrezh, the second – on the eastern shore of lake Martyshiv. Clear rules for camping and restriction of places must be developed.
7. Paths for sky sports
In winter, along this part of the park, tracks should be laid for sky sports with with a rental station at the entrance part of the park.
Regarding the rules of visiting the Wetland Park, they are simple and quite commonly accepted:
– Entering by cars, ATVs, motorcycles is prohibited. Exception is made only for park caretakers in case of emergency, police, firefighters, etc.
– It is prohibited to raise a fire, to use alcoholic beverages, to turn on loud music.
– Take your garbage with you. It can be thrown into containers at the beginning of the routes.
– Dogs outside a specially equipped area should be only walked in muzzles or on leashes.
Until recently, the main principles of ecological parks were human intervention through careful care, attempts to regulate, protection of certain species of animals and plants. Modern natural parks in Europe and in the world have adamantly changed their philosophy, – they have moved from protecting species to protecting the territories. This means, above all, that the natural development of the ecosystem should be protected, without any artificial interference.
That is why we insist that the sites that were especially important for the ecosystem restoration of our city were allocated and received an enhanced protective status. These are primarily nesting and respite places during seasonal migrations of birds, reproduction of fish and wildlife, areas where local flora will be able to learn in a natural way to produce immunity in relation to numerous invasive plants.
This part of the park does not require any facilities except for the careful removal of garbage in some places.
However, for its proper functioning, it is necessary to provide some infrastructure in the first and second parts of the park, namely, a place in the central building for the work of specialists, for example, for the organization of symposiums, meetings, scientific exhibitions, observation towers, which were discussed in the section “Arrangement Elements of Nature-Protective Zone with Possibilities of Restorative and Cognitive Recreation”, etc.
In this section, we will only mention the functional purpose of this zone of the Wetland Park. So it should become
Schematically all our concept may be portrayed as follows:
Below is a list of issues that, in our opinion, require an immediate resolution. And these very problems are the main concern of the public and ordinary visitors to the Wetland Park.
Currently, one of the biggest problems is garbage. Along Kolektorna Street and in some places in the depths of the park – it is mostly the construction waste that was thrown out in order not to pay for the removal to the garbage area. There is holidaymakers’ garbage alongside the cottage cooperative. Garbage on the lake shores and Wetland Park roads is mainly due to vacationing of people, although sometimes new heaps of construction debris appear. It should be noted that every year the ethical norms of holidaymakers in nature grows, and more and more people take away the garbage left behind by others, but this does not solve the problem. Just as it is not solved by regular volunteer work held by the activists of the eco-park. Therefore, the priority task is the general cleaning of the territory and the elimination of spontaneous dumps by communal forces with the involvement of activists and local inhabitants. And further maintenance of the territory in cleanliness, installation and regular removal of trash cans is the key to the success of the Wetland Park.
The second problem is the unrestricted and uncontrolled movement of vehicles across the territory of the Wetland Park. The cars are parked anywhere – directly near the water, on the grass, among the bushes.
Still, there are cases when the trucks take out and throw out construction and household rubbish on the territory of the Wetland Park instead of dumping it on a paid ground.
The third problem is the pavilions in their current state. They are described in detail in paragraph 20 of the section “Elements of Wetland Park Frontal Part – City Park and Active Recreation Zone”.
A very important problem is the shooting of birds in the hunting season. Hunting not only damages the ecosystem of this territory, destroys redundant birds among others, but is also extremely dangerous to humans. After all, shooting is carried out within the city, near a densely populated area. In addition, the territory of the Wetland Park is gaining popularity among the population.
No less painful problem is the fires that arise from time to time in the forest and the lagoon part of the Wetland Park. An area without status, proper care and control, and, on top of it, close to a large number of people, is always a zone of increased level of danger of the occurrence of fire.
Of great concern is the regular and massive destruction of Red Book plants, including spring primroses, Siberian and marsh iris, plants listed in the Red List of Kyiv and Kyiv region, such as, for example, gentian ordinary, coronary cuckoo, white Dane’s-blood, etc. There is also a constant mass removal of those other rare plants, which breed only by seeds, which leads to a reduction and destruction of their population.