Earth Day in Zakopane

Earth Day Network is proud to work with partners across the globe to Mobilize the Earth™ for Earth Day 2012.  Through a partnership with the US State Department, Embassies and Consulates all over the world are logging their Earth Day events as part of Mobilize the Earth.  Below is information about a great event happening in Zakopane, Poland:   

By the U.S. Consulate General Krakow,

To celebrate Earth Day, Poland’s Tatra National Park has organized a major conference featuring leaders from national parks from Poland, the United States, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Germany. This is the fifth annual Earth Day conference organized by the Polish national park system, each time by a different park in southern Poland. This year it is taking place in Zakopane, a mountain resort town snuggled into the Tatra Mountain range in southern Poland.

This year’s conference, co-organized by Tatra National Park and the United States Consulate in Cracow, will focus on how national parks can better communicate with local communities and national publics to share their message and further the cause of environment preservation. The conference will kick off on Earth Day itself with a volunteer service project that will clean up footpaths throughout Tatra National Park. The service project will be jointly led by U.S. Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein, U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Sedgwick, and Zakopane Mayor Janusz Majcher.

Yet the conference isn’t the only environmentally-geared program that’s going on in Zakopane. More than five percent of the population in the area now gets heating from geothermal energy, while city officials are working with the European Union to secure solar panels for individual households. The city has also established an “Environmental Island” where residents can dispose of items including paper, plastic, glass and metal waste, which has helped Zakopane reach the impressive feat of recycling more than ninety-nine percent of its packaged waste, which amounts to 1,610 tons of recycled material. Last, but certainly not least, in 2011 the city of Zakopane cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 1,730 tons.

All these activities make Zakopane a leader in environmental stewardship and an ideal place for the fifth annual Tatra National Park Conference. If you’d like to join in the volunteer project to help clean up footpaths in the Tatra Mounatins, please click here and scroll down to the English, or email or the volunteer coordinator at jkrzeptowski@tpn.pl.