the

story

Kozjansko is a magical, hilly region in south-east Slovenia, covered with ancient forest, where many trees have their legends and stories. Our family has been living in these forests for centuries, living with them and protecting them. 

​​

Recently some of the ancient trees were cut down by workers, unaware of their cultural meaning for the area. As a child I played in our forest valley, imagining that I had discovered this magical place and I'm the first person to ever walk there. Now, having a child myself, I would like to protect this forest as it was for him and future generations to come.

Andrej Grilc

PROBLEMS

& SOLUTIONS

9 reasons
WHY is protecting
and preserving forest
in kozjansko so important:

1. AGE OF TREES

Some trees are more than 800 years old and in danger to be cut down.

1. monitoring of trees

We would like to make a map of important trees in this area and collect data about them. We'll make the data accessible.

2. water Streams

The forest is full of fast water streams. Branches that are left by cut trees block the flow and cause dangerous foods.

2. CLEANING THE BANKS

We would like to clean the stream banks of all wood and build natural water steps to reduce the speed of the stream.

3. Walking paths

​There are many important pathways - among them the European pathway E7 - that are being destroyed because of deforestation.

3. preserve the paths

We would like to clean the paths and add new signs.

4. earth slides

Because of deforestation it comes to earth slides in the clay foundation and steep terrain.

4. Plant trees

The only possibility to avoid earth slides is to plant trees and to reduce the deforestation.

5. protected area

Despite the fact that the area belongs to Kozjansko natural park and is protected by Natura 2000 and UNESCO, the organizations don't achieve sufficient protection of the forest.

5. SPREAD awareness 

Our plan is to connect with the present institutions in search for solutions. We plan to spread awareness with articles and projects.

6. animal species

There are many animal species that are loosing territory because of deforestation and are in stress because of excessive hunting.

6. hunt free zone

We would like to establish a hunt free zone in our forest and help it to establish a natural equilibrium.

7. planting foreign species of trees

After trees are being cut down, the area is deserted or artificially replaced by fast growing spruce, that produces more wood and is not a local species, therefore intruding in the natural biosphere.

7. monitoring the tree forestation

We would like to monitor the forestation by collecting data with drone pictures and prohibit invasive and foreign species to be planted in the area. 

9. our HOME

Last but not least: The forest valley represent the sacred home to our family, that was living in and with this forest continuously for centuries.

9. Unique view

We would like to preserve the forest area as it was and to protect it for the new generations. We believe it is a cause worth fighting for.

8. wild garbage

Our forest is contaminated with areas of wild garbage.

8. Cleaning actions 

​With cleaning initiatives, we would like to free the area of garbage and install and manage garbage cans next to the paths. 

OUR
GOAL:

Protected area Viza

We would like to set our goals high and to make our valley a special protected area with a name VIZA -after a mythological dragon monster from this 1.5 km long valley. 

The folktale about Viza:

There is a steep canyon on the east side of the Podsreda castle. On it's bottom flows a lively stream till it reaches Bistrica river. By the source of this stream used to stand a giant beech tree. One night it fell down and nobody took much notice about it. It started to decay and spread the smell of fried fish. A forest worker went by every day on it's way to the castle. One day when he was very hungry and was tempted by the smell. He cut a brunch and tasted it. It tasted as fried fish. Since then, he took a bite every evening. But there was another creature feeding on that tree. 

In the tree a dragon monster named Viza grew in. This monster is born inside of a tree when after a hundred years in certain night, certain hour and minute a tree is cut. »Viza« is strong as dragon, but peaceful if it has enough to eat. But be aware of it's powers, when it runs out of food. Because the forest worker fed on the tree, it ran prematurely out of food. One day right at midday a terrifying storm was formed. The little stream rose to a mighty river, took the whole village and washed it to the Black sea. Monster Viza jumped from its forest nest and jumped into the waters with a loud thunder. The old Podsreda village was gone, just the name Old market was left on the spot where the river Bistrica turns toward east.

The true facts and meaning of the myth:

The Myth represents true events in symbolic way. The forest worker eating the tree, represents, that people were cutting down the trees. On this suggests also the name Viza, from the German word die Wiese that means a meadow, - place without trees in forest. When the high water came, there was nothing to hold the earth on its palace, because of clay foundation. The fact is that an major geological event took place in that area cca. 1000 years ago. When the massive slide burred the village underneath. The myth was created as a warning to further generations, not to cut the trees in this area.

We would like to make the area:

- free from deforestation

- free from hunting

- free from wild garbage

- preserved

- used for education

- the role model for other critical areas

- protected for further generations

Measurements:

Surface: 21.2ha

cca. 2km long, 1km wide

How

can you

help

Plant a Tree

1 seedling | 30€

On the deforested area we will plant a local type of tree

Help to clean the Forest

1 helper fee | 130€

We will organize a cleaning action in spring 2019 to clean the forest

Help us to

buy the forest

1 small area | 300€

The best way to protect the forest is to buy it and take care of it

Please help to save the forest by donation. The society for protecting the forest will be establish soon.

For now we accept donations on:

Andrej Grilc, Argentinierstr. 48/16, 1040 Wien. 

IBAN AT49 2011 1826 5563 8700, BIC: GIBAATWWXXX

Funds raised till now:

1260 Eur

Volunteer

In autumn 2019 we will organise a cleaning and forest working groups.

If you'd like to join us to clean and preserve the forest, please write to

andrej.grilo@gmail.com

We offer nature, fun, great vegetarian food,

accommodation and pocket money. 

We would love to host you!

SPRING 2019

CLEANING RESULTS

Volčja zvončnica and Širokolistna Lobodika (Ruscus hypoglossum) are plants found just in our valley.

They are both endangered and protected.