Academy of Nature in Hajnówka
The Academy of Nature will be established in Hajnówka to familiarize residents and tourists with the knowledge of the Białowieża Forest. It will be a tourist and educational attraction, a playground and, most importantly, a natural education center operating in close cooperation with numerous scientific organizations from the Białowieża Primeval Forest Region, as well as secondary and elementary schools and kindergartens. The main goal of the Academy of Nature will be to meet the educational needs of various age groups about the Białowieża Forest and nature – in an interesting, innovative form. A visit to the Academy of Nature will become a key element of expeditions to the Białowieża Primeval Forest – an introduction to the full reception of the original forest. It is supposed to be a permanent place supporting the science of nature and biology of the youngest Hajnowians. The assumptions are that it will also be a significant impulse for the economic development of Hajnówka. The partner city from which we will draw good practices and inspiration in the creation of the Academy of Nature is the city of Alta in northern Norway, which is adjacent to the UNESCO world heritage, ie the World Heritage Center of Rock Art – Alta Museum.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, the first meeting on the establishment of the Academy of Nature took place. It was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, the Association of Polish Cities, project partners, educational units, the City Hall and the Norwegian partner city – Alta. Ideas for specific activities were presented by our project partners, including:
- Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Białowieża, leader of the Pompik the Bison Zone, originator of the initial concept of the Academy of Nature;
- Białystok University of Technology, leader of the Living Mushroom Laboratory;
- Białowieża National Park, leader of the Experience Zone;
- The city of Alta presented a project from nature, or how to combine nature and the city;
All the above-mentioned partners, including the Hajnówka Forest District, are involved in the creation of the entire concept of the Academy of Nature. The city is supported by experts from the Association of Polish Cities, who presented the substantive and directional foundations for further work on the target offer of the new attraction.
Thanks to cooperation with scientists, this place has a chance to be not only a place of entertainment, which is common in Poland, but also a specific place of education for the youngest
The Academy of Nature is one of the many projects implemented under the project “Hajnówka Renewal – Green Transformation”, financed by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 and the state budget.