A nature class centre is building an ecological station featuring a log cabin and a stork's nest

Astronomy is no longer taught in the schools of Saxony in Germany. Bildungs und Sozialwerk Muldental e.V. has decided to take over the job by offering its visitors a stellar observation station on the roof of a new ecological building constructed with logs. Astrology, yes. But many other things besides.

Environment and Biodiversity

Olganitz, Saxony, Germany

Roland Hammer

12 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/09/29

Project leader

Bildungs und Sozialwerk Muldental

Schullandheim Olganitz website

"I had been in contact with the association for a number of years, and especially with the nature class centre, since I'm a guide for the class visits to the water plant.
I'm highly impressed by the association's work, because it's between the ages of 5 and 10 that children discover the marvels of nature and learn to respect it."

Roland Hammer

At Olganitz, between Leipzig and Dresden, the nonprofit association Bildungs und Sozialwerk Muldental e.V. has been busy for twenty years training youths in back-to-work programs (with 400 apprentices per year) and the discovery of nature by the children. The site, located in the valley of the Mulde on a lake shore, welcomes nature classes and families all year round. Many experimental topics are proposed: life in the Middle Ages, theme walks, discovery of aromatic plants, do-it-yourself with nature-made tools ... and considerable activity around water and the life of the flora and fauna present in the lake. But with 10 000 visitors every year, the accommodations are inadequate.
Besides, the schools of Saxony have decided to stop teaching the children astronomy.
Two good reasons to prepare the construction of a new log cabin. From its roof, astronomy can be taught again "in situ". Immersion in the wild guaranteed.

Logs, a roof observation station, a stork's net ... something new and meaningful too

The cabin will perform two functions. Today, if the weather turns bad, the dining room is unable to accommodate all the children. The new cabin will significantly increase the accommodation capacity of the site for the steadily growing number of visitors.
On its roof, the observatory dedicated to astronomy will propose a new and eagerly awaited activity. Since this place is practically the only one of its kind in the region and nature (and educational) tourism is increasingly popular in Germany, applications for reservations in the new station are already pouring in. Unpaid retired teachers have already been called on to help and advise the budding astronomers.

And it is also planned to host a couple of storks not far from the new site. Having been noticed every spring for several years, not far from the space where the cabin will be built, a specific nest - installed at the top of a post close to the building - will therefore be installed in the hope that when the next season comes around, the beautiful birds will come to live there and reproduce.

A very "green" project which the Veolia Foundation wanted to encourage, especially since the cabin will be built by apprentices accompanied by the association, adding socio-professional value to the project.