The Stone Tree

During my walks from spring to autumn rabbits and deers cross my path pretty close, birds are singing, bees picking the sweet powder of the abundant flowers and most aromatic herbs. Alice in Wonderland, Heaven on Earth! It was an epic fight for Nature until we reached this reality.

It takes about 50 years for a pine forest to grow and five year to completely destroy a mountain hill of about 4 km circle of land while digging stones in a quarry. The fields around Sofia have been polluted from the metal processing plant Kremikovtzi and I was able to see the mountain chain of The Balkan, spreading to the North of the capital city 40 years since I was born and grew in Sofia. To give you an idea, we are talking about half an hour drive from Sofia city center to the nearest slope of The Balkan. Yes, this is the longest mountain in this part of the world and it gave the name of The Balkan countries. A tough mountain. The father of my grandfather came from its Western part, where stone curves form beautiful shapes. My grandparents knew the fields and the hills around Sofia before they were polluted and so does my daughter now, after the plant closed in 2005. But how long lasts the memory of a person in their lifetime and how can a person do their best to contribute to preserving Nature? We were so determined to fight for our clean Nature because we just opened our eyes to look at it! How do we make the generations remember?

Five Years. For My Small community It’s The New Pine Forest.

Our cause started in 2010 by a signature action and meetings of newly established Initiative Committee. “No to the quarry”. I was involved in part of the activities as a member of the initiative, mainly in widely spread public activities and social media publications. We met with the inhabitants of all 14 villages, we did a cycling tour for the cause by involving students and families. The initiative continued from autumn to summer and until the final decision of the court in 2014. We planted the first trees, symbol of the new forest. It is impossible to describe all the details, as the cause spread into actions in all fields of private activities, community project for planting a new forest, common events like concerts and visual materials, meetings with the media and TV broadcasts, numerous meetings with Ministries and court procedures. You can check the Journal on our site. The most important choice we made was to complete a Referendum. The First Successful Local Referendum It was an incredible atmosphere on the day of the elections. We won by reaching the high percentage from the last political elections, as the law requires. 89,7% of the people voted with “NO” to the quarry and dangerous collectors.

Today, on the occasion of Earth Day I’m asking some of the leaders from The Initiative Committee a question.

Why was it important to complete The Referendum?

Nadia Belcheva: Because of the principle that democracy can only function where there is civil behavior. In order to preserve the environment and nature. For the future: to develop the region as a "green community ". For the responsibility about what we leave behind us. “imagine all the people ..... :)” The best way to predict the future is to create it! This quote from Peter Drucker describes in short everything that happened in the last five years. Because the future is created not only by our dreams, but of immediate actions and all the steps you need to go in the present. Five years ago there were two possible scenarios for the future of Gorna Malina: as an evolving European funds community with better living conditions, organic agriculture, rural tourism or territory doomed and dying, covered with stone dust depopulated villages. Five years ago we were suddenly aware of this. We imagined heavy trucks transported tons of stones from the hills of Negushevo. We refused to accept this future, we found solutions and made steps to change it. We are proud that we showed to the whole country that people are entitled to and can protect their homelands and their future. But we did not stop and continued to help not only ourselves but also others. We initiate amendment of the law that requires public opinion to be taken into account for development plans of municipalities in giving concession for underground deposits. The amendment was adopted. We continued to monitor and participate actively in the administrative and judicial procedures. We wrote and defended the script for a better future of our community. Now on we are working together, because we know from experience that the future starts now.

I wish more people could understand the language of the documentary film of Michaela Taneva ( have stamped four moments to make you feel the engaging energy within the community. For the Live Spirit and the Live Stone ( 23:23 min) 12:00 Architect Hristo Lazarov, Crafting the wooden sign for the village; 15: 53 Master, Stones for the monument 17:17 Nina Trankova for the hiking path to the new forest and the free choice we do by ourselves; 20:32 Art exhibition; 20:26 Eco Farm

Georgiev: “It doesn’t all depend on the government.It depends on the people, when they are active. In this region people insist that the air stays clear and Nature stays clean”.

Architect Hristo Lazarov:”Allied we can achieve results. The monument of The Stone Tree is a symbol of life. The water under the tree is a symbol of life as well. We can. A lot depends on us!”

Photo Album about the events. Local Nature and Flowers, My Collection “Garden Inspirations”, photos are mine.

We are a group of members of Google+ Create, a Google program for recognizing creative users of Google+. This year we are celebrating Earth Day with this small, symbolic art project with the theme: Earth Day 2016 - My planet. My part.
#CreateCommunityEarthDay Follow the Special Edition Create a Better World