The valleys of the two rivers Simeto and Alcantara in north-eastern Sicily are of high ecological value and connect Europe's largest active volcano, Mount Etna, with Sicily's most water-rich and tree-rich mountain range, the Nebrodi. Between them migrates the Europe-wide threatened wildcat and endemic plants and animal species meet.
In close cooperation with the small NGO Giacche Verdi Bronte, Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung is actively involved with many different, mainly environmental education projects, all of which fit into an overarching concept of a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The Foundation has initiated this and is promoting its realisation with a now very large circle of allies.
All projects involve young ERASMUS volunteers or interns. Occasionally students find an interesting topic for academic theses here.
Biosphere reserve „Terre della Biosfera – le Valli fluviali dell’Etna“,development and (political) application, since 2010 / project homepage Terre della Biosfera
Rescuing monumental Oaks of Mt. Egitto / Etna, release of 52 ancient oaks from overgrowing pines planted in between years ago, since 2011 / project homepage
- "Fiumi puliti" - Clean Rivers, lessons and excursions at rivers, since 2010 annually
- „Frutti per la Biosfera“ - Fruits for the Biosphere, lessons and excursions on farms, creation of vegetable gardens on schoolyards, 2018-19
- „Boschi per la Biosfera“ - Forests for the Biosphere, Lessons and excursions in forests, tree sowing and planting, 2017-18
- “Mille semi per mille bambini”, lessons and tree sowing for own cultivation, 2013-17 annually
- , lessons and excursions on Mount Etna, creative competition on the theme of wildcats, 2005-07
Environmental education facilities for school and extracurricular activities
- „Percorso bufo bufo“, a climate nature trail described from the point of view of the toad in Santa Domenica Vittoria. Here a children's club has been formed, which offers guided tours along the path. Since 2018
- "Bosco Brignolo" - Children's forest in Bronte, a former quarry and garbage dump, which with the help of school classes is transformed into a forest and experience space. Since 2012
- “Bio Parco Blue Garden”, a kind of "green classroom" on a meadow in Mascali with tree plantations, vegetable garden etc. Since 2017
- „Parco Urbano“, a neglected city park in Piedimonte, was restored and equipped with environmental didactic elements for school lessons. Since 2018