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Teletskaya school of youth ecotourism – Health Trail Project

 The Health Trail Project focuses on the use of Teletskoye Lake landscape and its peculiarities in health improvement (recreation) and education of at-risk children and youth. The start for the project was laid in 1998 with the launch of the first summer camp for teenagers registered in Gorno-Altaisk Commission for Juvenile Affairs. The camp provided the first evidence of the salutary healing effect of natural landscapes, environmental events and contact with domestic animals like dogs and horses on the psycho-physiological state of “young hooligans”. 

The first attempts to provide scientific evidence of this positive impact were undertaken in 2003 in the summer recreation camp organized in the Altaiskiy Reserve for attendants of the republican social-rehabilitation center. Within the framework of the program “Find yourself through saving nature” experts of the center together with the staff members of the Altaiskiy Reserve analyzed the psychological state of children before their arrival to Lake Teletskoye and after it. Data received by the center’s psychologists provided evidence of a huge healing effect of the Altaiskiy Reserve’s landscapes and Lake Teletskoye on children.

Starting from 2004 to 2009 the same work was furthered with children from Gorno-Altaisk orphan asylum and by 2010 a new recreation itinerary - the Health Trail - had been laid close to Yailu settlement, the central manor of the Altaiskiy Reserve. Currently, the Trail is being used by all project and program participants of the Teletskaya school “Guardians of the Lake”.   

More detailed information on the Health Trail Project and its results can be found in the eponymous article in the collection of materials of the Teletskaya school of youth ecotourism (pp. 88-92).  

In 2011 the program “School of Young Guides”, with the Health Trail Project at its basis, was launched, involving children from the Altai Republic’s boarding school.  A distinctive mark of the program is the participation of at-risk children and teenagers in organizing and giving tours through the Altaiskiy Biosphere Reserve after completing education and training. 

Yevgeniy Veselovskiy

staff member of the Altaiskiy Biosphere Reserve,

coordinator for the Teletskaya school of youth ecotourism “Guardians of the Lake”,

Health Trail Project consultant. 


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