in Chelyabinsk, asked the president to save the forest, which they want to cut down for the sake of an ice rink


In this position will be the fourth.

In Chelyabinsk, on the site of a forest loved by the city residents, they decided to create a sports complex as part of the national demographic project. Residents, having learned of the authorities’ plans, began collecting signatures against and then appealed to the court, which took their side. But the joy was short-lived: they still intend to cut down the forest – to build an ice rink. In desperation, people recorded a video message to the president asking them to save their forest. They are convinced that the implementation of national projects should be aimed at the benefit of the inhabitants and not against them.

The issue of deforestation in northwestern Chelyabinsk arose in 2019. Subsequently, local authorities considered setting up a sports complex in the city to train future Olympians. And for the placement of sports facilities they did not think of anything better than cutting down the forest. When locals learned of the authorities’ plans, they began collecting signatures, making video appeals and then going to the courts to find the truth. The district court sided with the townspeople, forcing the mayor’s office to move the forest from the development zone to the parks and squares zone.

In summer people ride bicycles in the forest and in winter they ski.

– We won the court because the forest zone is registered as a recreation in the Master Plan of the city and the officials gave it to the public and business development. “In court, we received information that there is an urban forest in the territory of the forest, which, according to the law, is not subject to development at all”, explains Alena, a resident of the area and one of the defenders of the forest.

But the joy was short-lived. The forest was never registered in the land registry and soon the authorities decided to implement a new idea – to build an ice rink. The locals managed to save the forest from being completely cut down, but in one of the areas the trees are threatened with cutting for new construction.

– The UralGUFK ice rink, which is to be built here, will be the fourth ice rink within a radius of one kilometer. Nearby, in the same forest, just over a year ago, they started building the Shayba Ice Palace for young hockey players, a 10-minute walk away is the Traktor ice arena and behind it is the Traktor ice rink. “, Says Alena.

Recognized urban forest area.
The way it was cut for another ice rink.

It is noteworthy that the tender for the construction of a new ice rink was initially won by the company Samara Belstroy, which, as it turned out, had problems. The company had several large government contracts for the construction of a kindergarten in Zhigulevsk, a swimming pool in Samara and an infectious disease building at Syzran Hospital. After that, in 2020, as 74.RU wrote, opened a criminal case for embezzlement of budget money during the construction of a kindergarten by Belstroy LLC. Company executives were suspected of fraud.

“We have been fighting for more than a year to save this place, but neither the mayor’s office nor the governor is listening to us. In this forest, we build a ski slope ourselves every year, we organize endurance skiing, in the summer we organize track and field competitions, we ride bicycles, people do Scandinavian walking. This is the mass sport that the president is talking about. Not for athletic achievement, but for a healthy lifestyle. And deforestation will deprive residents of three of its sub-regions – Newton, Parkovy 2 and Topolinka. Under the pretext of implementing a national project with federal funds, a barbaric destruction of a favorite vacation spot is taking place, say locals.

For the construction of the ice rink, UralGUFK, according to people, intends to cut down more than 1,500 trees. In addition, Chelyabinsk is not the most environmentally friendly city. Therefore, people perceive the destruction of the forest as a personal tragedy.

– We believe that the implementation of national projects in Russia should be aimed at the benefit of the people and not against them. Federally funded sports facilities should increase accessibility to mass sports. Citizens do not need a fourth rink within a one-kilometer radius. We find it funny to read statements that “the new sports complex will become the center of attraction for the residents of the northwest”. The center of gravity is already here – this is our favorite forest! And for the construction of sports facilities, you can find other areas that are not occupied by urban forests, the residents are sure.

Now another collective action of residents is being considered in the Sovetsky District Court. The residents demand that the town hall be obliged to include the recognized urban forest in the land registry.

Residents do not want to miss their favorite vacation spot.

– After we went out to defend the forest, for some reason we joined the opposition. But we have no political demands. We only say that in our city the forest is very important and necessary. And the development of sports can be done not at the expense of the environment and the interests of the people who live here, the residents conclude.

Earlier, Notepad wrote about a similar situation in the city of Troitsk near Moscow. There, officials decided to cut down the forest to build a school. Residents of the area objected, believing that officials were hiding behind the school only to develop a huge area. Despite numerous complaints and appeals from locals, workers decided to start sawing and activists began hugging trees every day to prevent it.

– We know the examples of Yekaterinburg, when the people came out to defend the square near the Drama Theater, the example of Baskiria, when the people stood in favor of Shikhan Kushtau. And now a very conflicting situation is unfolding. Why were they always on the edge, why did they not listen and now they do not want to hear people? the locals are outraged.

They are also ready to go out to defend their favorite forest.

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