Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Traveling to Shirvan National Park

Shirvan National Park Trip

We rented two minibuses to pick us up from Baku and take us directly INTO the park. The "INTO" emphasis is important because I believe special arrangements with SNP must be made if you want SNP to provide tours via car. The park is large and hard to navigate without any cars...if not impossible.
The rented bus from BAKU to SNP was 5 AZN per person via this contact. Please write me if you want the contact information.
Taxi from SALYAN to SNP is also 5 AZN per person.
As for a trip for kids, this might be most accessible to PCVs and kids in the south.

Working hours of SNP: 9am to 6pm. You can stay overnight on request.
Phone: 0163 611 90 and 0163 611 93
Fax: 0163 611 91

Salyan rayonu, Yenikend kendi

SNP has: A useful information center with both English and Azerbaijani language information pamphlets. Some workers have limited English. Perhaps Gila herself could help out. The information pamphlets are really nice and have a map of the park inside it.

SNP is considered special because it is home to Azerbaijan's Goitred Gazelle...and there are a ton of them around.

My personal opinion on the park:
Well, it is rather flat. And arid. But, the Azerbaijanis we were with got excited seeing the gazelles running around and these gazelles are not difficult to spot. It seems to me that a motivated PCV could definitely arrange an informational session for kids in Azerbaijani and/or English that would go beyond the education Azerbaijani kids usually receive. If a PCV were to take a small group to SNP, they could surely raise they nominal funds needed via PCPP or SPA. It costs money, but not a lot. So, it isn't exactly the most excited park in the world, but it is a worthwhile resource in country. Also, SNP is on the Caspian and there is a shoreline...but it takes car power to take you there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peace Corps Earth Day Plans 2010


For earth day my 7th formers are planning to plant a tree and flower garden in either the park or in the school yard. We take some class time every week to plan the project together. Students have roles and responsibilities and they are each contributing 1 AZN to buy the flowers and trees.

For more information, contact Jon Elkin:


My kids are going to be doing YouTube Earth Day videos.

For more information, contact Loki Tobin:


Dorothy's school is going to have an Earth Day program and they plan to plant trees in Berde.

For more information, contact Bill and/or Dorothy Colcord:,


On May 1st PCVs and volunteer Azerbaijani kids will be cleaning up trash in Friendship Park. Also, before June (tba), the winners of an environmentally themed art contest will have a mural of their entries painted on the side of Mingechevir’s stadium.

For more information, contact Kim Joyce:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ming Earth Day Project

Like many developing countries, Azerbaijan suffers from serious environmental problems. Oil leaks into the Caspian Sea, unregulated factories pump smog into nearby communities, and trash litters the streets and common areas of rural communities. While some of these issues require drastic changes in regulation and business activity, the most visible, in fact, can be improved by a change in behaviors, and the beginning to that change is knowledge. As Azeris begin to better understand how people impact the environment around them and the effects of environmental problems on their health and livelihood, they begin to learn what they can do to combat these problems. With this environmental education project, we aim to teach youth to appreciate the environment and better understand how their actions impact it.

This project will include several phases that aim to, firstly, increase environmental awareness but will also provide numerous benefits to participants and the community. An environmentally-themed art contest for children will encourage artistic expression and general creativity while impressing the importance of environmental awareness on participants. Simultaneously, an environmental awareness class for select students will use a number a methods to teach students about environmental issues. A mural will then be painted on a city wall, based upon the winning art contest entry, providing a lasting reminder to the entire community. Finally, an Earth Day park clean-up involving local youth will reinforce good practices while improving the cleanliness of a popular common area.

To donate to this project please visit: Ming Earth Day Project