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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“Green” charity

Landscape designers have volunteered to restore damaged lawns, trees, and flower beds in the downtown Kyiv after the Euromaidan ends
18 February, 2014 - 11:17

Recently, more and more people have been coming forward and stating their willingness to restore the downtown Kyiv after Euromaidan ends. Moreover, they promise to do so at their own expense. The first such statement came from Petro Poroshenko, who promised the protesters that he would repair the pavement and the monument to Valery Lobanovsky in Hrushevsky Street on the first day after the confrontation ends. The new head of Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) Volodymyr Makeienko said a few days ago that the administration was seeking sponsors and investors who would agree to restore Khreshchatyk and the central square of the city. By the way, according to the KCSA, the Euromaidan protesters caused damages to the tune of 14 to 20 million hryvnias. It is unclear how they came to this figure, but it is a lot of money.

The International Club of Landscaping Fans came forward with a similar initiative at a press conference held at the National Resistance Head quarters on February 6. The club is an NGO including members of the Union of Architects of Ukraine, Union of Designers of Ukraine, All-Ukrainian Association Union of Planting Material Producers, and other landscaping professionals. They promise to take care of the green areas in Khreshchatyk, Independence Square, and Mariinsky Park.

Of course, charity in restoring green space is a good initiative, but it ought to be done by Kyivzelenbud, the city’s green space service, as it is its direct duty. So far, the landscaping community has had no talks with Kyivzelenbud, but they say that they are ready for dialog and cooperation.

The club’s co-founder and chairperson Olha Kamolikova told The Day they planned to establish an independent commission by February 25 to assess damages caused to green spaces. “This commission will include professionals with extensive experience in landscape design. Some will be responsible for plant status assessment, other for a master plan for reconstruction. When the snow starts to melt, we will understand fully what is required. Therefore, we raised the issue now, before winter ends, so as to start working on the preparatory stage, because before planting anything, one should understand how it should be done,” Kamolikova said.

Subsequently, a reconstruction plan will be created based on these assessments, and damaged lawns, trees, and flower beds will be restored in spring, under favorable weather conditions. The club members hope that concerned Ukrainians will join this initiative. “We will not do everything at our own expense, for we look forward to possible assistance. We have already received the first cooperation notices, and interestingly, they came not from Kyiv, but from other cities. I and my colleagues have received a few messages via social networks stating their authors’ willingness to help. The senders have included universities with landscaping programs, students and plant researchers who are willing to provide us with seedlings for planting. If we were not confident that colleagues would support us, we would have never started the campaign,” Kamolikova commented. “Preserving the beauty of the city is our common duty, but it should keep reminders of the current events as well. Thus, we want to contribute to the restoration of Kyiv.”

At the moment, landscape designers plan to file a formal request to the KCSA to obtain the permit for restoring green spaces.

By Inna LYKHOVYD, The Day