Latvia

World Cleanup Day -
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World Cleanup Day 2021 is on 18th September! Plant your Tree of Happiness!
Opening of the first Park of Trees of Happiness in Valdemarpils
Courtyard movement in action
Plant your Tree of Happiness, start with a seed!
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Latvia
Latvia
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Latvia is clean and greenovative country in the Northern Europe by the Baltic sea. The Big Cleanup (LIELĀ TALKA in Latvian) is much more than NGO campaign in a country of less than 2 millions of inhabitants. LIELĀ TALKA is the widest volunteersmovement in Latvia that has gathered more than 500 000 participants both in Latvia and Latvian diasporas in the world during 10 years of existence. If you would ask some Latvians to name 3 more exciting things about Latvia, they would undoubtedly name also a tradition of LIELĀ TALKA as one of them. All 10 years the movement is led by enthusiastic and inspiring leader Vita Jaunzeme. LIELĀ TALKA has a smart scheme of the management involving partners in every municipality, in business circles, schools, NGOs, media and, of course, every participant as a voice of society.

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Country Leader
Vita Jaunzeme
Country Co-leader
Latvia

Latvia is clean and greenovative country in the Northern Europe by the Baltic sea. The Big Cleanup (LIELĀ TALKA in Latvian) is much more than NGO campaign in a country of less than 2 millions of inhabitants. LIELĀ TALKA is the widest volunteersmovement in Latvia that has gathered more than 500 000 participants both in Latvia and Latvian diasporas in the world during 10 years of existence. If you would ask some Latvians to name 3 more exciting things about Latvia, they would undoubtedly name also a tradition of LIELĀ TALKA as one of them. All 10 years the movement is led by enthusiastic and inspiring leader Vita Jaunzeme. LIELĀ TALKA has a smart scheme of the management involving partners in every municipality, in business circles, schools, NGOs, media and, of course, every participant as a voice of society.

Latvia
Country leader
This is some text inside of a div block.
Location
Contact
e-mail
weBsite
talkas.lv/
If you want to represent this country and manage upcoming cleanup events, please fill out the form below.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Country Leader
Vita Jaunzeme
Country Co-leader

Courtyard movement

In recent years, in some cities of Latvia the courtyards have been
renovated and improved with new structures and playground
equipment by the smart and friendly joint work of residents and professionals.
It started in 2011 Big Clean up day and became also a part of Riga – 2014 European Capital of Culture programme.
After the investigation of the territory, discussions with
the residents and after developing building projects, the courtyards
were revitalized in one day. In these activities the
specialists and students from Latvia University of Agriculture (LLU)
Landscape architecture and planning programme, Riga Technical
University (RTU) Architecture programme, Riga International School
of Economics and Business administration (RISEBA) Architecture
programme, Young Architects’ Movement (YAM), the authors of the
courtyards’ Big Cleanup movement - society ”Pēdas LV”, Latvian
Society of Landscape Architects (LSLA) and the residents of the
cities were involved. Courtyards were partly revitalized because the funds raised, involving
the sponsors and supporters, were insufficient to cover the replacement of hardscapes and their improvement in the parking lots.
Some cities, including the capital city Riga, founded grants programme for local communitites in order to support these bottom-up initiatives to improve common urban living space as a result of the Big Cleanup`s pioneering in this area.

Let us give you few concrete examples from the first year of acitivity in 2011:
One of the first courtyards, which was partly revitalized within
the framework of the Big Cleanup courtyard movement, was
Aluksne courtyard at 12 Apes street. Due to the residents’ and
local community’s initiative of the empty courtyard obtained completely new features
– basing on the YAM architects Liva Branka’s
Laura Meija’s, Janis Leja’s and Lasma Grogone’s vision. Shrubs were planted, a basketball
backstop with net was erected and the area in front of it was
paved as well as new play elements for children were installed.
In designing green spaces the local landscape architect and
coordinator of the Big Cleanup Agris Veismanis
gave his professional advice to the residents of the multi-storey
building residential area.
Another example is the courtyard of 48 Nicgales Street in Riga,
where in 2011 new unusual football goal posts, a
litter bin, new bench surfaces from wood, and sand box frames
were installed. The swings were also repaired by installing
new seats and chains and the slide was painted.
The joint work at revitalizing the courtyard had also fascinated
the naughty boys and girls, and a wheelbarrow became the most
fascinating vehicle. The painting of wooden constructions was
turned into a challenging competition, with children competing
for who would get the brush faster and who would paint the
surface more beautifully. The soft mulch cover turned into a
fight arena in which the children kept rolling, somersaulting
and horse playing. Even the chains of the new swing seats were used as a strength
testing place – who would climb them faster and higher and
invent the most unusual way of swinging.

Latvians are planting TREES OF HAPPINESS

As our local Clean-up Day is in April, the largest volunteer movement in Latvia, LIELĀ TALKA (The Big Clean-up) invites everyone to participate in World Clean-up Day by planting a very special tree. Starting from 2018 Latvian message is unambiguous: we are planting “Trees of Happiness” for the health and well-being of our Latvia and the entire planet.
It is ancient tradition to plant a special heritage tree by your house that would bring wealth and health to the family through generations. In the first World Cleanup Day we started the Trees of Happiness project in Ogre Parish, birth place of a famous Latvian artist,Vilhelms Purvītis. Young Latvian artists and other enthusiasts helped to landscape the surroundings of Purvītis’ native house and plant the seeds of the historical Purvītis’ family apple-trees, thus symbolically planting the idea of the internationally recognised museum and youth arts centre to be created there in the upcoming years.
Schoolchildren are an important audience as they are involved in to grow a small tree from a seed and to plant those trees in the next year. We believed that every seed or planted tree sown would grow up into a huge big tree of the future, becoming Latvia’s contribution to restoring the balance of the global climate and ecosystem. Small plants sometimes become best friends during long winter evenings.
In September 2020 the initiative was taken to another level – first Tree of Happiness Park has been opened in Valdemārpils. In September 2021, second Park will be opened in Jelgava and other municipalities ar invited to follow the example.
Vita Jaunzeme, the leader of the Big Cleanup movement, comments: “I am proud and pleased to see the Big Cleanup initiative growing. I would especially like to emphasize that the Big Cleanup and the Trees of Happiness campaign are not one-day projects. We don’t have to wait for spring to clean the yard or for autumn to plant a tree – we have to take care of the environment every day! Our land, our children and our future are in our own hands!”
Latvian diaspora abroad also participates both in spring clean ups that they organise in different countries as well as at the World Clean up day planting trees.
We are sharing Latvia’s know-how and vision with the world as we continue our path to sustainability and being a clean country. The combination of green and innovative – greenovative – gives us extra stimulus to continue smart development and create initiatives for sustainability and innovation in Latvia, while also giving our share to the international community.
Tip for those participating: Remember that if trees are to be planted on municipal land, this must be agreed with the respective municipal coordinator. If you want to plant trees on private property – you are welcome! Create a cool forest and mark it on the Tree of Happiness map, bring joy to the neighbours and the whole of Latvia.

The World Cleanup Day in Latvia on Sept18`21 - plant your Tree of Happiness!

The Lielā Talka (Big Cleanup) movement sets the tune for the World Cleanup Day, and invites people of Latvia to start planning cleaning activities in a timely manner. As every year this year, when the whole world is cleaning, Latvia will participate in the joint movement by planting trees. Traditionally, after cleaning the environment and nature within the framework of the All-Latvian Spring Cleanup, in autumn the emphasis is on landscaping and the Trees of Happiness planting campaign, thereby helping to restore the balance of the global ecosystem and move towards our common goal – to become the greenest country in the world. This year already the second Park of Trees of Happiness will be open in Jelgava, following the last year`s example of small city of Valdemarpils!

Vita Jaunzeme, the leader of the Lielā Talka movement, points out:
“Last year, our works were also evaluated by the organisers of the World Cleanup, and in 2020, Latvia was recognised as the country with the highest activity of helpers within the World Cleanup. I am honoured and proud to see that the Lielā Talka movement is growing every year – we are seeing an increasing involvement of young people and children, the support of municipalities and businesses, the general interest of society and the growing knowledge of “green” issues. We are getting smarter! That is why this year, all together and each separately – for a green Latvia!”

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Baltic Without plastic

How our cleaning has made changes in the environment

Before and after images
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