Ekocentrum PALETA

1. History
Ekocentrum PALETA was found on 1. August 1990 below the title Centrum ekovýchovy Pardubice. It is one of the oldest centres of environmental education in the Czech Republic.

First years were dedicated to collecting experience. Ekocentrum organized many seminars to enviromental education for teachers. Ekocentrum was engaged in dealing with organizing many different nation-wide meetings for workers in environmental education and arranged informatory and tuition actions for public.

Foundation of the specialized campus (Area of Enviromental Education PALETA) was most important point in the organisations history. Campus was solemnly opened in 1994. Ekocentrum acquired its name according to area (PALETA = painting pallete): painting pallete symbolizes broad scale of experience - pallete of colours, smells, touches and experiences.

In the year 1994 Ekocentrum started arranging environmental programs for schools. In the same year it began edifying campaign upon schools and in public intent on right treatment of wastes and their assorted collection. There was a special octagonal wooden building built for school purposes on the grounds of PALETA. It was opened in 1995. It was first new-built building designed for environmental education in the CR. Very pleasant environment of non-traditionally solved building contributes to the good atmosphere during programmes with children, who always look forward to visiting it again. After five years of operating, the interior was replenished with a fireplace, which serves to environmental and economical heating.

From 2003 y. has Ekocentrum PALETA two affiliates - in town Chrudim and in Oucmanice, where we bought big old farm-house. Now is Ekocentrum PALETA District Coordinator of Environmental Education in Pardubice region

2. Programmes of environmental education
During years there was an enormous increase in the number of programmes that schools could choose and so the number of students of these programmes increased. A big success has been the realization of tutorial programmes towards separation of plastic in schools in Pardubice. Pardubice was the first town in the CR where all students of primary schools passed through the environmental educational programme.

Programs of environmental education in Ekocentrum PALETA are divided according to the age of children - independent offer are yearly released for kindergartens, 1st - 5th grade of primary schools, 6th - 9th grade of primary schools and secondary schools. As an addition to the subject, every teacher himself can choose a topic of programme matching the actual lesson. There are several programme groups for children:

  • working with natural material (looming on weavers loom, Roast in outside oven, Working with fleece, Production of hand recycled paper, Working with beeswax, traditional Christmas, Easter
  • cognition of animals (domestic pets, Life in the forest, Animals in ecosystem, What lives in the soil, Life in water, Wild animals, Endangered animals)
  • about herbage (Woods in jeopardy, About seedling, Green world, Wood faery)
  • global problems (North and South, Fish banks, African village)
  • about different questions and problems of living environment, renewable source (energy, Stone, Transportation, Lake, About season...)
  • about people and interpersonal relations (I am personality, Red men, One behind all and everyone behind ones, Human relations, Planet of hope)
  • and next completive programs (Camera obscura, In claw of advertising, Sensation)


number of participants
number of realized programmes

The classrooms where programmes are run have been designed using art and interesting architectural solutions

  • schoolroom with live animals - domestic pets,
  • schoolroom for kindergartens with textile objects,
  • schoolroom in style of cottage,
  • wooden building with fireplace on ground of PALETA.

Except schoolrooms there are also ready some special tools for different programmes - loom, set for production of hand-made paper, claystone outside oven, earth borer on taking of samples of soil, keys to determination of water and soil animals and many other.

3. Further activities in environmental education
There were many events for adults and children in recent years. These activities support main operation with school children.

  • Seminars for pedagogues - from year 1996 there were held 70 different seminar for teachers. We are regional information centre for school in the area of environmental education, two times a year we are arranging regional session.
  • Action for public and with children in free time - we are setting up summer encampments, hobby groups about breeding animals, jubilee of The Earth Day, childrens days, days open door, excursions, concertos in support of handicapped animals, programmes for handicapped children, programmes for anticrisis centres, evenings of spooks etc.
  • Publishing activity - excogitation and editing of new tools for working with children on environmental education, which uses teachers and mothers of small children, successful methodical publication for pedagogues, cultural leaflets for citizens (why not to burn waste in domestic hearth, how and why separate waste, what is dangerous waste etc.)
  • Consultancy - free administration for pedagogues to borrowed videotapes and books from our specialized library, every day we answer many questions of our citizens about environment (every day be responsible for queries citizen to different interrogation living environment (chopping down the trees, tortureing animals, animals breeding, burning of litter, posibilities of grants from state fund of living environment...)
  • Fastening station for handicapped animals - we are providing treatment and care for handicapped animals (this year over 50 animals, some of them particularly protected)

4. Position of PALETA among centres in CR
Ekocentrum PALETA is establishing member of the system of environmental education centres - Association of Environmental Education Cobweb (SSEV Cobweb). This net covers majority of centres, providing programmes for schools. Depending on the number of students, Ekocentrum PALETA is on first place in frames of CR.

5. Representation of town and region
Ekocentrum PALETA as significant centre treats every year visitors from abroad, which very appreciate activity of PALETA and often drain experience for merging and construction anological centres abroad. In recent three years we have introduced our work to guests from Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Russia and USA. There took place several international school environmental projects with Netherlands (town Apeldoorn), in which pupils from tens concerned school parties exchanged results in measuring of rain acidity, rainfall as well as about style of life. This successful project we afterwards prepared for Klášterec nad Ohří and their partner Dutch town Baarn.

Ekocentrum PALETA is a source of inspiration and purposes of study tours for pedagogic workers from the school or from other center, workers of municipal offices and pedagogic centers from whole country. There are held package tours on our environmental programmes, on practice go students from secondary schools and universities.