Environmental protection with the help of street art pt. 2.

Urban metamorphosis: a highly successful project by a Hungarian NGO

The first Mondolo project we’d like to present to you is our personal favourite. Not only because it was the first one in the series, but the animal depicted is very dear to our hearts.

Swallows are the birds of our childhood. They usually remind people of the summers spent at grandma’s, the long houses with the big gardens, playing with the dogs and buying ice-cream from the truck that came once a week. Surely, when we were young, it was easier for these birds to find all they needed to survive and to raise the next generation. Today, as summers are getting hotter and drier, and with less dirt roads, they cannot find enough mud that’s essential for their nests. Moreover, they like to build their shelters under roofs and in barns, so a lot of people think of them as pests and act accordingly.

In Hungary, the number of swallows has halved in the last decade. It means there are thousands of tons of insects each year that fifteen years ago would've been eaten by the birds. The fight against these insects are now fought with pesticides, polluting the environment and threatening biodiversity.
This Urban Metamorphosis project gives us full insight on the issue and offers us a solution at the same time. The mural depicts two different species of birds that face the same problem: the barn swallow and the house martin. The signs placed on each corner of the building give us thorough explanation on the matter, QR codes directing us to tutorials and further reading.
A photo showing a mural with swallows and house martens on the side of an industrial building.
So how can we help? On top of the building you can spot different artificial nests. Some of them are from the Hungarian Ornithological Society, some were made by the environmentalists themselves, and some shelters are the work of children from neighborhood kindergartens. To help the birds find mud for their own nests, they plowed the ground and made a special mud pond next to the building.

The more people know about the issue the more will decide on taking action. We already know a family, friends of ours, who decided to place artificial nests in their garden with the help of the Mondolo tutorials.
A photo showing a mural with swallows and house martens on the side of an industrial building.

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