A group of VSU researchers including Nikolay Bolotov, Dr.habil in Agriculture, Anatoly Belyaev, Dr.habil in Biology, Associate professor at the Department of Soil Studies and Land Resources Management, and Professor Dmitry Scheglov, Head of the Department of Soil Studies and Land Resources Management, have suggested a project of how the city and the surrounding forests can exist together, based on the idea of creating a national park in Voronezh.
– The city is rapidly invading the forested area, and the problem is obvious for most of us. If we do nothing, the next generation is very unlikely to see any forests round the city at all, as the city will extend by 2–3 kilometres, – said Dmitry Scheglov. – Study of the experimental forest area of Voronezh State Forest Engineering University has shown that the intensive growth of the city and larger number of developments in Morozov Street has already resulted in the total area of alleys and paths increasing 7 times.
Our project aims at creating larger recreation zones in the city without damaging the forests, as well as at enriching the flora in these forests with more Pinophytes. The project includes all the traditional elements – a park area, parkland, a forest area, a conservation area, and the Voronezh Reservoir. The implementation period is six-seven years. One third of the project's budget is expected to be spent on hydraulic engineering works and building paths and alleys.
The key point of the project is the introduction of species of exotic forest plants while designing the landscape. A long history of forest introduction has shown that the number of introduced species can be increased to 80–90 with over 300 underbrush species.
The national park should include forests round the city, Usmanskii Pinewood Forest, the Voronezh nature reserve and Voronezh Reservoir, and account for the specifics of each of these areas.
– The forests round the city should become the most popular recreation zones, and thus there should be richer landscape architecture, and more sports facilities. Usmanskii Pinewood Forest and Voronezh nature reserve should become a place for short hiking tours and camping, as well as a sport hunting base. Voronezh Reservoir is supposed to be the central element of the project.