The ‘roots’ of Happiness are in Koza

The ‘roots’ of Happiness are in Koza

There are places in the vast expanses of our country ‘never before imprinted by the foot of tourist’. It seems that there are no tourism anchors in those places, and there is nothing attractive to tourists. In the village of Koza (Goat) located in the Pervomaisky District, the Yaroslavl Region, this may also be the case now. But there lives a person who is gradually changing the world, she just sows the seeds of ‘Happiness and Joy’ in a field. And everyone can help this planter.

Olga Tselikova is a native of St. Petersburg and her background is civil aviation engineering. Nine years ago, she realized that the world was heading for an environmental disaster ‘at full speed’ and decided to contribute a little bit in preventing this and, for example, to start planting trees - as many trees as possible!

Olga spent a long time choosing a place to implement her plan to ‘save the world’. She traveled around the country to find the best place that has a special attractiveness. What place to choose - the one in the Krasnodar Region? In Altai? In the Crimea? Her heart was silent to those places. Only Koza village touched her heart. This village is the homeland of her ancestors, her grandparents and great-grandfathers were from that village. Her ‘roots’ gave a signal that ‘her place was there’.

Olga moved from St. Petersburg to the village of Koza and bought one agricultural share - a 16-hectare plot of land, marked it off and got down to work. She planted trees and gained experience from her own mistakes; being a city dweller, she had no experience, so she studied the literature on planting trees on YouTube. At first, she collected the tree seeds on her own and used the seeds (including the seeds of fruit trees) sent to her by mail and sowed them in her small seed plot. The sprouted and grown trees were planted in the field.

“Over time, I realized that not all the seeds are suitable for planting in this area,” says Olga Tselikova. “The seeds were sent to me from various places and regions, including those from the southern regions of the country, and many plants simply did not survive in our climate.”

Then Olga realized that the advice to plant as early as possible in the spring and as late as possible in the fall also did not suit her specific conditions because the trees did not have time to take root and dried out or froze. So, she gained experience and kept on planting trees.


Olga plants mainly fruit trees, such as nut, apple and plum trees, but those that can survive without humans’ care, just like the trees growing in the wild. She preferred planting fruit trees, so that birds and animals could have something to eat. It is beneficial in all respects, the trees help in improving the microclimate as the number of droughts decreases and winds are weaker, rivers become fuller and cleaner, and birds and living creatures have a place to live and something to eat. The global goal is to turn the entire Earth into a beautiful ‘Garden of Eden’. And then we, humans, will feel both Happiness and Joy.

That is why Olga, among other things, made plantations in the form of the words ‘Happiness’ and ‘Joy’. Evergreen pines and cedar trees grow there - so that the words can be seen from above all year round. It was difficult to grow cedar trees because the local elk liked their taste, they eat these trees ‘without a twinge of conscience’, not allowing them to grow. Olga had to net the cedar tree trunks to protect them.

Olga has a very large amount of work during tree planting seasons, but she has two hands only. That’s why she invites volunteers to help her: she writes about this on her VKontakte page and asks ecobloggers and ecogroups to repost the information. Olga believes that it is simply vital now for every person to regularly plant trees, a lot of trees. And if people have no place to plant them, they are welcome to the Koza village.

Usually, a lot of people are going to plant trees, but only a few of them come to me,” says the environmentalist. “Of course, this is not tourism at all in its usual sense. If volunteers come for a couple of days, they stay in my one-bedroom apartment or in a hut or tent in the field. Everyone is welcome.”


Sometimes, even families with children come; the kids really like to run around the field and plant trees. And yet, there are not enough ‘hands’ to help her.

Friends joke and propose to dig a well for me and say that the water in it is magical to attract people,” Olga laughs. “But I don’t need loitering tourists, I need helpers.”

So, if you want to see green ‘Happiness and Joy’ with your own eyes, stay overnight in a field, improve the world, feel the joy of what you do, you should go to the Koza village. The trees and young plants are waiting for you.