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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Photos Of The Day: A Croatian Children's Nature Project - Cleaning, Painting & Planting In Rijeka

I found this series of photos interesting to do. There's more popular, trendy, glamorous and important news/sports stuff going on, but I think  this is important too because nobody hardly ever mentions it or shows photos of what goes on behind the scenes, unless you're part of their Facebook page that is. It's sort of an opposite post from my previous post. And it also sort of reminded me of around here, because around my area they just started erecting those community mailboxes in neighbourhoods. (and lots and lots of people are not too thrilled about that I'll tell you, not happy about it at all and quite irate about it, protests, petitions and even legal proceedings against the federal government about the influx of the mailboxes. It's all over the local news right after the Bruce Jenner cutting off his sausage updates and the upcoming de-sausaging documentaries. I wonder if all the rumours are true about K.K. getting a sex change now, then her doing Bruce ass to mouth except he would be done up to look like Chelsea Clinton, and then Kanye dressed up as Little Bo Peep in a threesome with a giant pink dildo thrown into the mix, now that would sure be an interesting selfie and celeb news that's for sure). Anyway, on the way to the store I've walked by a few that were erected and have been up and running for a few weeks now, and then noticed that the graffiti thing has already started on them too. It didn't take long.

It's usually the local Canadian "Crips vs. Bloods" and big city fast food street culture territory thing, you know, coming from the downtowns they gotta show who's the boss, who's turf it is, they gotta let each other know that it's their turf or else, or they'll get a gun upside their head from behind to make instant beefaroni splattered on the sidewalks, or spaghetti-o's on the nike-o's just like ketchups on the fries, stuff like that. Sort of like "This is our turf muthafucka, go get yer own turf and go back home where ye came from, we're sellin' the crack, weed n' bennies roun' here punk bitchez, not you." Come to think of it, this is sort of a good intro to this post actually.

Anyway, this group and particular project was called "Gredica cvijeća - manje smeća" (beds of flowers - less garbage) and was about decorating forgotten public spaces or sprucing up places that are being neglected, the initiative was also supported by the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka, as well as the nearby "Nature and Society Smoothie and Juice Bar" (Priroda i Društvo).

Signs were also erected by the children during the project such as "Beware and do not crush!" and "We love our city when it's green, Please do not crush the plants!" etc. The main goal of the project is to make local pedestrians in the Rijeka ghettos pay more attention to the natural greenery and plants instead of the usual drugged out prostitutes, stabbings and gang wars prevalent in the downtown districts. The city of Rijeka, which has a higher murder rate than Kingston Jamaica, is also known as the "Rio of the Adriatic" and has many favelas and shanty towns, so nature projects like this give these children the opportunity to make a difference from the usual stabbings, gang violence and daily murder news. "People and visitors should smell flowers and see plants, not used condoms and pools of blood, shit, snot, cum and piss, that would be a disgrace." said one of the children participants.

This particular project is part of the larger Šarolija non-profit group, a local association of parents and children who go around picking up litter at various places, painting, decorating and planting etc. Yesterday they finally got around to do some planting because twice it was cancelled due to rain. The overall goal of the association is to make people aware that littering and garbage doesn't make the city beautiful, but more flowers and plants do. So now the people drinking their smoothies and juices at the nearby tables will also get some nice shade and nature to look at, as well as the people walking by. Another similar project is planned later this summer in another part of downtown Rijeka, and the organizers have already come up with a new slogan for signs. Paraphrasing Sepp Blatter's recently used popular motto of "Let's Go FIFA Let's Go FIFA!", the signs will instead read in Croatian "Ajmo Rijeka! Ajmo Rijeka!" ("Let's Go Rijeka! Let's Go Rijeka!). Bless their little hearts and green thumbs.

These pics bring back great memories actually, I spent some 2 whole summers mostly in and around Rijeka as a kid, except I was a little older, about 11 years old the first time. It was great, I remember going to the beach almost everyday, Croatian food all the time, cool castles, forts, historical things and tons of other things, so much so that I didn't even want to come back to Canada. (I even got to ride a moped all by myself, that was pretty cool too). These below pics are just from this one small project in the city of Rijeka, there's many other similar groups across Croatia who also do the same things in their communities, more news, information and tips from those local groups in Croatia at the website



Images are in no particular order.

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