Project LV-RU-040 NewLINE: New Life of Old Parks: Efficient Management of Historical Nature Objects in LatRus Border Area
The project LV-RU-040 NewLINE or the full name «New Life of Old Parks: Efficient Management of Historical Nature Objects in LatRus Border Area» was launched in July 2019 in the Pskov region, Latgale and Vidzeme (Latvia). The duration of the project is 24 months; all activities are scheduled to be completed by June 2021.
The project focuses on historical manor parks in the region. Once priceless masterpieces of architectural and landscape art – parks and historical manors in general – gradually faded away throughout the twentieth century. Many former «old family homes» continue to collapse to this day.
|Village Gorai, Ostrovsky district of Pskov region. The manor park of Lorerau-Rosenov. Photograph of 1914. Source: https://pastvu.com.||Same park, 2019. Source: NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)”.|
The joint Russian-Latvian project NewLINE is designed to give a new impetus to the discussion about the need to preserve and develop manor parks as tourist attractions. The idea of the project appeared in 2017 with organizations from Pskov and Balvi (Latvia). It was found out that both cities are united by the presence of former Gorozhanskiye historical manors on their territories, as well as the remains of manor parks, which are now actively used for recreational purposes. Thus, the manor in Pskov was located on a part of the modern Korytovo forest park – along the Velikaya River. The remains of Balvi Manor now occupy the central part of Balvi city known as the Bear Garden. (Lāča dārzs).
|Balvi city. View of the manor and part of Gorozhanskiye Park. Photograph of the 1920s. Source: Dainis Punculs, Latvian National Library.||Same park, 2019. Source: Balvi Municipality (Latvia).|
|Pskov City. View of the manor and part of Gorozhanskiye Park. Photograph of the 1900s. Source: photographer M.I. Gerasimov, A.V. Schusev State Research Museum of Architecture; https://pastvu.com.||Same park, 2000s. Source: Pskov central library system; http://bibliopskov.ru.|
Historical manors like the Gorozhanskiye’s are far from being alone in the Russian-Latvian borderlands. Thus, in the Pskov region there are about 170-200+ manors of varying degrees of preservation, in Latgale and Vidzeme – about 150. The main problem of the manor parks is their natural aging, uncertainty of their legal status (for the Russian part of the region) and, most importantly, undeveloped strategies for development and promotion of such cultural, historical and landscape objects.
 It is believed that many historical manors and parks in the Pskov region, due to their partial or complete loss, as well as due to the lack (loss) of primary data on their existence, have not been identified to date. The lack of official data also makes it difficult to attribute some preserved tree plantations as remnants of manor parks. As a result, different researchers give different figures about the total number of historical manor parks available in the Pskov region.
Thus, the commonality of historical and cultural heritage and contemporary challenges served as the basis for the preparation of the NewLINE cross-border cooperation project.
The project was partnered by three organizations: NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)”, Balvi Municipality (Latvia) and the Center for Curative Pedagogics and Differentiated Learning of the Pskov Region. The project was supported by the Latvia – Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.
The total project budget amounted to EUR 685,354, co-financing (grant) of the Programme – EUR 616,818.60. Two thirds of the project budget will be spent on the improvement of Gorozhanskie manor parks taking into account the modern specifics of parks use. In Pskov on the part of the KorytovoForest Park near the Center for Curative Pedagogics will be created so-called «inclusive», ie, accessible to all categories of citizens, park with a total area of more than 5 hectares. Bear Garden improvement works are planned for Balvi; the works will be carried out on an area of about 4 hectares. Once the improvement is complete, the Bear Garden will be used as the main city park.
In addition to infrastructure works, the NewLINE project includes a significant number of information and education activities. First of all, the project partner organizations will study the condition of the manor parks in Pskov region, Latgale and Vidzeme. The study will result in a Visual Guide to parks, prepared not only for specialists but also for potential tourists, an interactive online map of manors and manor parks in the region, booklets about improved parks of Gorozhanskiye. The project also envisages a series of education events – seminars, study tours, a conference – to explore the practices of restoring and promoting historic manor parks. In parallel with the exchange of experience, partners will organize several cultural events in the improved parks for citizens – the celebration of annual European Cooperation Days, festivals «Citizens at the Gorozhanskiye’s», promo-tours for representatives of the tourism industry.
Project in figures
Term of project implementation: July 2019 – June 2021, 24 months
Financial support: Latvia – Russia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
Latvia-Russia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 supports joint efforts for addressing cross-border development challenges and promotes sustainable use of existing potential of the area across border between the European Union and Russian Federation. The Programme website is www.latruscbc.eu.
Project budget: €685,354 (total project budget); €616,818.60 (Programme co-financing)
- NGO “Lake Peipsi Project (Pskov)” (Russia), Lead Partner
- Balvi Municipality (Latvia)
- Center for Curative Pedagogics and Differentiated Learning of the Pskov Region (Russia)
Project objective: Development of historic manor parks on the Russian-Latvian border as safe, attractive and accessible natural and cultural destinations for residents and guests of the region.
The main activities of the project:
- Study of successful practices of restoring former manor parks in the region.
- Preparation of popular publications about the values of manor parks.
- Organization of seminars, study visits and conferences.
- Holding cultural festivals in manor parks.
- Creation of an inclusive park near the Center for Curative Pedagogics in Pskov.
- Improvement of Bear Garden – the central park of Balvi.