SPARE-Festival "Clean Arctic and Antarctic" in the Yaroslavl region for Waldorf schoolchildren

Authors: Irina Skiba, Vasilisa Skiba, Ludmila Zhirina

Translator: Jo Vallentine, Former Australian Senator.


The annual school SPARE-Festival was held on the basis of the Ecocenter of the village "Yuryevskoye" on August 19-23. Due to the requirements for social distance, only 30 people participated in the 2020 Festival.  All lived in separate rooms of the Energy Efficient House, built according to the drawings of the SPARE program by the Skiba farm family in 2017.


Teachers and schoolchildren of Waldorf schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Karelia, Vologda met for workshops, business games, drawing and poster contests, and forging partnerships. During the days of the Festival, participants created common teams for action to combat climate change and waste management in cities, villages, during expeditions and recreation.


The main attention of the festival participants was drawn to the peculiarities of pollution of northern water bodies.

- Representatives of the Yaroslavl Fishing Society, scientists from Moscow, former sailors and engineers of fishing trawlers in the Barents Sea, and representatives of the Russian Geographical Society held more than 10 presentations and training sessions with 10-16 year olds in the huge classrooms of the Menchakovo Estate.

- The schoolchildren wrote the script and performed the theatrical game “Keep the seas clean”.

- A bike ride and a labor force was held to collect recyclable materials from residents of nearby villages for the DIY workshop.

- Local artists helped each schoolchild to create a picture: “A wonderful future for the Arctic and Antarctic”.

- A bio-monitoring expedition was carried out on the lake in the village of Menchakovo, problem areas of the reservoir were identified, an ecological map of the reservoir was compiled. Schoolchildren rake-cleared the reservoir of duckweed, cattail and other overgrown algae. These aquatic plants were dried and donated to the poultry farm to feed the geese.

The annual SPARE - Festival ended with a small concert for local residents.

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