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In the late 1960s, just seven years after the construction of the Alviano dam on the
Tiber River, the resulting lake attracted thousands of migratory waterbirds.
However, along with the birds, it also attracted hunters of this particular fauna. Only
in 1977 did the Umbria Region decree a hunting ban across the entire area,
definitively ensuring tranquility for the waterbirds that sought refuge there.
From that moment on, various initiatives were carried out to equip the Oasis with
paths and observation points for birdwatching. In 1983, the Province of Terni built
the first equipped nature trail for visits, initiating a fruitful collaboration with WWF
Italy. From that collaboration, in 1990, arose a project for naturalistic and
educational enhancement that formed the basis for building the future of the Oasis.
In 1992, a second accessible trail was built, also suitable for differently -abled
individuals, equipped with observatories, an outdoor classroom that can
accommodate more than fifty visitors, and a tower.
In 1996, an educational workshop for environmental education for school children
was established, providing a space to study the microscopic life of the marsh. The
workshop is equipped with microscopes, cameras, and monitors, allowing
educators to directly guide students through all the phases of authentic research.
This is commonly referred to as "life in a drop of water", and today the
Environmental Education Center (CEA) is part of the Infea Network of CRIDEA.

The transformation of a river like the Tiber into a marshy area, especially for the
purpose of electricity production, is a rather rare event. This event has produced
over 900 hectares of wetland, composed of marshes, lakes, swamps, and
hygrophilous woods, creating an ecosystem suitable for the reproduction and
stopover of around 200 species of birds.
The area serves as an important food supply station for rare birds such as cranes,
wild geese, ospreys, black-winged stilts, and many others. A portion of the Oasis
has also been designed for humans to enjoy these spectacular events. For this
reason, two nature trails have been built and equipped, totaling about 7 km of
paths. They are well-equipped with hides for birdwatching, amounting to a total of
12 structures. Hidden inside the hides, visitors can enjoy unforgettable moments,
as if they were inside a splendid documentary.

Birds are present throughout the year, but the periods with the highest availability of
food are preferred. In autumn and winter, it's possible to observe large flocks of
ducks and wildfowl because these birds feed on the plants that have multiplied in
the summer. In October and November, it's not difficult to see water mirrors teeming
with birds, with up to 12,000 counted in the entire area. This is the period when over
300 cormorants can be observed performing impressive fishing maneuvers,
perhaps pursued by a heron or a seagull trying to steal their catch.
Spring, on the other hand, is the period of biodiversity, in the sense that every day
is good for observing different species. It's the period of migration towards central
and northern Europe, where some will go to breed. However, many species also
stop to nest, including the kingfisher, teal, great c rested grebe, marsh harrier, and a
colony of over 200 nests of various species of herons.

Sundays and holidays from September 1st to May 31st, from 10:00 AM
continuously until sunset.
For school groups and organized groups, open every day by reservation.

The day is divided into two distinct moments, during which the school group is split
into two equal-sized groups to carry out activities separately. After lunch, the groups
switch, and in each activity, the students are accompanied by a guide.

LABORATORY: Using nets for plankton and macroinvertebrates, samples are taken
in an educational pond. The collection is then observed in the laboratory with the
help of microscopes that project the images onto the monitor via a camera. We
show the students the life within a drop of water, discussing biodiversity and its
importance in a complex ecosystem. They get to know some typical organisms of
freshwaters and reach the final concept of the food web and t he problems that
pollution causes to its stability.

TRAIL: On the trail, partly guided by the instructors and partly self -guided, students
have direct contact with the wetland areas, learning about their flora and fauna.
With the materials we provide them (a trail map, binoculars, and a bird guide), they
move among the various hides for observation, noting their discoveries,
impressions, and identified bird species. In the large "classroom hide," they then
share their experiences, linking back to the laboratory experience and the
connection between the micro and macro world.

The cost of this activity, which takes place approximately from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
(adjustable as needed), is €9.00 per student, while for schools in the Province of
Terni, it is €6.00.

Dal 20/08 al 20/11
2022, May 06
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