In 2019, two Trails took place. The first, “Walking through the ecology time” was a multi-day stationary event hosted at the “La Torre di Feudozzo” State Forest, Castel di Sangro (AQ), aimed at exploring themes and reflections from previous editions of the Trails following a transdisciplinary approach.
The second Trail, the “Socio-ecological marathon – 42 km of aLTERnative transhumance between Austria and Italy” connected the LTER Austria site Obergurgl in the Ötztal to the LTER Val Mazia site.
Ecology is increasingly establishing itself as a way of thinking and being, not only as a scientific approach to describing the environment. The concept of “ecological living” is nowadays associated with values, ideas, habits, care, activities, interests, green visions, and alternative ways of consuming, of interacting with the environment and with each other.
This Trail was designed to allow the participants to “walk through time” by revisiting the themes of the previous Trails editions and critically reflecting on them. Participants could retrace some stages of the Trails and relive experiences, walking across the places and sites where they took place.
The multi-day event included various activities, such as a night walk, workshops, lectures, and interactive activities for adults and children. Some activities were held in collaboration with cultural associations, scientific societies, and environmental organizations. Participants were invited to share thoughts and reflections on the previous walks and explore the themes of ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability.
The dialogue among researchers from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds, in a welcoming and evocative atmosphere, has suggested new ideas, sensations, and attitudes, in a journey that had the purpose of self-training and updating the researchers themselves within the LTER Network. Since the primary goal of the Trail is the meeting between researchers and local populations, opportunities for comparison have been built to try to open up and understand each other.
The Trail “Walking through the ecology time” took place from September 12th to 16th in a semi-residential form within the State Forest “Feudozzo” and Experimental Farm “La Torre”, managed by the Carabinieri Command for Biodiversity and Parks Protection in Castel di Sangro (AQ). This Trail differed from the “classic” ones, but maintained the spirit of “field” experience. It was realised thanks to the collaboration of various professionals who used means of investigation, reading, and description of nature between art and science.
A special issue of the journal “Visions for Sustainability” titled “Scientists moving between narratives towards an ecological vision” (L’Astorina, Bergami, De Lazzari, Falchetti Eds.) is dedicated to this Trail.
The second Trail of 2019 was a transborder walk between Austria and Italy, connecting the LTER Austria site Obergurgl in the Ötztal to the LTER-Italy Val Mazia site. The walk took place from August 24 to 25, covering a distance of 42 km.
The route followed a trail that linked the Austrian and Italian LTER sites through a socio-ecological marathon, promoting the concept of “aLTERnativa transhumance.” The itinerary connected high-altitude environments, characterized by alpine ecosystems and biodiversity, and involved the crossing of the Niederjoch Glacier and the Niederjochpass.
The walk aimed to promote ecological and cultural exchanges between Austria and Italy, focusing on socio-ecological aspects related to alpine landscapes and mountain communities. It involved scientific and ecological observations during the journey, fostering a dialogue between participants and researchers.