"Cedars of Ukraine" Сommunity-Based Organisation

The creation of mini botanical gardens in the territories of children's educational institutions and revival of rich cedar forests.

Photo of Светлана Деревянко
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Madison Tatyana

Initiative's representative date of birth

11/30/1977

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Ukraine

Headquarters location: city

Kyiv

Where are you making a difference?

Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine

Website or social media url(s)

www.ukrcedars.com https://www.facebook.com/ukrcedars

Date Started

03/2017

Project Stage

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working toward the next level of expansion)

Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?

  • €1k - €10k

Organization Type

  • Nonprofit/NGO

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

Studying the history of nature of Kievan Rus revealed the facts that cedars, mighty healing forest-forming species which are unique to our area now, used to cover the territory of Europe. A great desire to restore what was lost, was born. So, in 2017, the public organization “Cedars of Ukraine” was created and its projects began being carried out to return pristine beauty and rich biodiversity to these lands. We went with eco-lessons to kindergartens and schools in which we tell children about our rich history of the nature and invite them to join in its restoration. We train them to grow cedars on the windowsills and plant the territories of their educational institutions with them, thus the first mini botanical garden appeared in Ukraine.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

1- City air pollution; 2- weak landscaping of the territory of child care facilities, where children spend most of their day; 3- weak biodiversity in the city; 4- lack of environmental education of children. Acc. to the State Emergency Situations Service of Ukraine the air pollution norm in the capital often exceeds the norm by 4-6 times. Scientists' studies confirm a hectare of cedar forests has such a strong phytocidal activity that it is enough to clear a million-plus city.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The cedars being still small need increased attention and care. We believe children are the best to cope with this task. Therefore, we plant cedar seedlings in the territories of Kyiv kindergartens and schools that have expressed such an intention and provide the necessary conditions for planting and subsequent care. Children's educational institutions are evenly distributed in every district throughout the city. Thus when the trees grow, the Ukrainian capital will turn into a real health resort. During the three years of our project "Revival of Cedars in Ukraine" about 200 cedars were planted, the same amount of living seedlings was donated to children at the Eco New Year's parties by Eco Santas with detailed instructions for their further care. About fifty eco-lessons and workshops on planting pine nuts in various schools, kindergartens, and festivals were conducted. About 2000 children and adults got the opportunity to plant pine nuts and grow an age-old healing family tree at home on their own.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We take a creative approach to solving our tasks. 1-Since we want a cedar to grow in every family again, as it was 300 years ago among the Slavic people, we organize ecological family holidays, for which children prepare their performance on preserving the forests of the planet and planting trees. Thanks to the support of green philanthropists, we have the opportunity to present every child with a cedar seedling at such a holiday. 2- We want to change New Year’s nature-destroying traditions and restore coniferous forests. That's why we came up with the image of green Santa Claus, who comes with seedlings of living conifers, instead of felled trees. Our annual Parade of Green Santas organised in 2019 fell into the Book of Record of Ukraine

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

In our activity of restoring biodiversity and nature, in general, we were able to unite many structures: we cooperate with government representatives - the Ecological Committee of the Kyiv City Administration, the Kyiv House of Nature with which we conduct joint children's environmental creative contests, the administrations of kindergartens and schools, the parents of children who invite us to conduct eco-lessons, the media that broadcast our environmental events and hold press conferences with them, with businessmen who become green patrons of our projects and support them financially.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

For three years of activity, we have: - conducted fifty eco-lessons in kindergartens and schools, at festivals; -in these eco-lessons about 4000 people planted sprouted pine nuts and learned to grow them at home on their own; - landscaped with cedars 18 kindergartens and schools, parks; - created the first mini-botanical garden in Ukraine in the kindergarten where more than 100 species of new trees and shrubs have been planted with parents and children and a composter has been installed; - presented 260 seedlings of apple trees and tulips to kindergartens and schools throughout the country; - we held two annual Parades of Green Santas; - presented about 1000 seedlings of cedars and Engelmann spruces as live New Year's gifts from Eco Santa Claus and as a future family tree; - published a New Year Book with new nature-preserving New Year songs, poems and drawings.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

We scale by inspiring people in other cities to join our projects and implement them in their own places. As a result, in December 2019, 15 settlements of Ukraine and the Russian Federation supported our idea of ​​the International Eco Did Moroz Parade and held their New Year's eco-lessons, workshops, planting conifers during the eco-flash mob that we had announced. We take part in the development of the Environmental Strategy of Kyiv initiated by the Mayor's Office where we also voice our ideas on landscaping the capital and child care facilities, in particular, by increasing local biodiversity. We also plan, through cooperation with the representatives of the authorities and media, to communicate our ideas on a larger scale.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

Our activity is aimed at restoring nature - the Common Home of all people. Because of that it is appreciated and receives a response from other people. Our whole team is united by high spiritual and family values, we transfer them to our activities.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

Our projects are carried out due to the support of green philanthropists who are inspired by our ideas and transfer money for their implementation. In addition, we grow cedar seedlings in our own nursery garden and 10% from the sale of each seedling we spend on our projects. We also created our Earth Fund, which in the long term will help finance our green social projects.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

Our team consists of two large families that grow seedlings. They have their own experience in this matter. We have: 1- Project manager, head of the public organization “Cedars of Ukraine”, leading environmental lessons – full time; 2 - Green space worker, experience in growing seedlings and planting plants, part-time; 3 - PR manager - maintaining pages on social networks, issuing the YouTube news, part-time.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. 1) OVERALL EVALUATION

Yes, absolutely! - 66.7%

Yes/maybe - 33.3%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 0%

No - 0%

2. 2) CONNECTION TO BIODIVERSITY

5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 33.3%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 33.3%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 33.3%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 66.7%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 100%

4- Yes, I think so. - 0%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 33.3%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 33.3%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

6. 6) Is this entry ACTIVATING CHANGEMAKING?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 66.7%

4- Yes, I think so. - 33.3%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 100%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 0%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 100%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 66.7%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 33.3%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 33.3%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 66.7%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 33.3%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 0%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 0%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 100%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 100%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 100%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 0%

Other option - 0%

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Photo of Syed Saud

I am pleased to see such a healthy activity happening in Ukraine as I have been getting information about your country that it was a deadly war area but am much happy and glad. And most probably I am looking forward to have collaboration for my country with you and can able to enhance my knowledge too...

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