In order to appreciate their works, the Mayor of Pelplin has been granting the Volunteerism Awards for several years to the most active local volunteers and to the members of the local community who distinguish themselves in building civil society and promoting cultural heritage of the region. This year the most active local citizens and the most important social organizations and projects were nominated in several categories such as ‘The Volunteer of the year’ and ‘Volunteer-friendly organization’.

Astonishingly, Elektrownia Północ S. A. was nominated for the award as a ‘Community-friendly company ’. Given what is widely known about this project’s negative impact on the whole region, it is truly hard to determine the rationale behind this nomination. Was it the impact of particular matter, heavy metals and other harmful substance on human health? Or, perhaps, it was the threat the pollutants pose to farming – the main source of income of many local families. Maybe it was the threat to the Malbork Castle (UNESCO world heritage site) and the medieval cathedral in Pelplin that tipped the scales?

We can only guess that the nomination was the result of the investor’s propaganda leaflets widely distributed in the region and the effort Elekrownia Północ has put into organizing contests for children and meetings with the local citizens aimed at convincing them that the coal-fired power plant is the best thing that could ever happen to a region known from its agriculture and unpolluted environment.

It’s hard to imagine that the representatives of a project that is going to destroy the unique landscapes of the Pelplin land and threatens its most precious cultural values could stand beside school kids, regional song ensemble and authors of a project which promotes culture exchange. Fortunately the common sense prevailed. The company has won no award.

We would like to congratulate both, the winners and the jury, for promoting initiatives that truly serve the citizens’ wellbeing and preserve the cultural heritage of the region.