Here is a unique chance for you to visit the heart of Siberia, Lake Baikal. It’s your opportunity to invest in our collective future, and share in our efforts to protect our environment through the construction of a system of eco-trails around the deepest and oldest lake in the world.
Each GBT trail-building project lasts 2 weeks.
At the project camp, volunteers sleep in tents and prepare meals together over a central campfire. During the workday, volunteers might clear the way for a new trail, improve an existing trail, or build a campground or other structure, making sure that each trail is clean and up to our standards. Each project description includes specific chores listed in detail. During the interim weekend and other free days of a project, volunteers might enjoy hikes, or trips to local sites and museums.
These outings, and the trail projects themselves, are led by our crew leaders. Our leaders are trained in the design and construction of trails and the creation of backcountry campsites. Each group also will have a translator, a GBT staff person who not only ensures that the Russian and international volunteers can enjoy each other’s conversations, but is also responsible for the project’s cultural and entertainment programs. The two official languages on our projects are English and Russian.
Projects last 10 days, they are held on the island of Olkhon. Volunteers live in tents or houses, depending on the weather conditions of the area.
During working days volunteers perform various types of work: clearing and arrangement of springs, construction of structures, garbage collection (see the specifics in the description of each project). And on weekends group goes on hikes, on excursions or just relax and enjoy the pristine nature.
The goal of our overall program is: to render volunteer assistance to the Russian national parks and other protected areas, so as to help develop a strong foundation for eco-tourism in our region.
In essence we want to make it so that Baikal can attract visitors at any time of year. Usually, during our summertime projects, we ask our volunteers to help build trails and other structures for hikers to use around the lake; and then in winter we lead a number of indoors eco-education projects around the lake.
During winter projects, our volunteers will get a chance to meet a number of our local nature-lovers and leading environmentalists. At the same time, you as a volunteer will be able to make an important and practical contribution to our movement to protect Lake Baikal—namely by helping us create the Great Baikal Trail, and also by making it possible for us to improve and deliver our local educational and interpretive programs for visitors to the lake.
Some of the activities you can be engaged in during our winter projects are:
1) designing a new information signs ;
2) designing booklets;
3) teaching local school students in the villages about the importance of preserving our environment etc.