On May 16, 2019, the International Plant Protection Day was celebrated at the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia, Riga. Traditionally, this day attracts visitors with excursions, as well as workshops and open-air labs guided and supervised by scientists and experts of various fields. This approach provides different scopes to explore the world of plants and processes in nature. This year, the event was attended by approximately 900 visitors, mostly school children.
This was already the second year when the event was contributed also by LIFE Peat Restore team from the University of Latvia. The project experts prepared a lab where anyone could investigate peatlands, get the basic information about their development, find out what peat is and how it is formed, to explore cross-sections of peat layers, try to calculate the age of bogs, etc. To demonstrate human-caused impacts in peatlands, the project team prepared small model bogs, one natural and the other one drained, to show the differences in peat properties and plant composition. The experts demonstrated also peat with different decomposition degrees and peat coring technique. Additionally, the visitors could learn bog plant species and find out more about their role in nature and practical uses. Use of magnifiers and microscope allowed exploring details of bogs plants.