About the region
The area of the seven neighbouring communes located along the Oder and the Warta rivers is shaped by the geographic and environmental factors (such as their location in the river valleys), geopolitics (due to the proximity of the state border between Poland and Germany), and the shared history, both before and after World War II which to this day has significant influence on the culture of the citizens of the so-called Recovered Territories. Another important factor is the specific climate of the region, with the highest number of warm weather days in the country (265.4 days per year on average), and the relatively small number of days with frost (69.2 days per year on average).
The tourism potential of the region is based both on natural values and on the historical and cultural heritage. The number one attraction is the Ujście Warty (Warta River Mouth) National Park which attracts ornithologists and birdwatchers from all over Europe. The region also has numerous spectacular historical monuments and sites, such as the Kostrzyn Fortress, places of worship or hydroengineering structures, which will be enjoyed by everyone interested in the history of technology.
However, it is the region’s natural treasures that deserve the number one spot. The natural landscape is largely preserved in its original form due to relatively low population density, limited industrial developments and podsolic soils which are not particularly suitable for farming, but perfect for pine forests. There are numerous lakes, but one particularly valuable element of the region’s landscape are the river valleys, in particular around the Warta river mouth, which have retained their natural character, making them a unique environmental feature. The river valleys are protected by several environment protection measures. Popular among tourists, they have become a major attraction of the region.
The region’s natural value is reflected in the statistical data, with more than half of the Local Action Group’s operating area covered by some form of environmental protection, ranging from its most (national park) to the least (Protected Landscape Area) strict form. The protected areas are frequently visited by tourists from large cities, such as Poznań, Wrocław, Szczecin and Berlin. Tourism is an important pillar of the region’s development. In recent years, a rise of the popularity of water tourism can be observed, in particular kayaking.
About the association
The Local Action Group “Zielona Dolina Odry i Warty” is an association and direct successor of the Local Action Group “Fundacja Zielonej Doliny Odry i Warty”, which was a foundation. In the years 2007-2008, the Foundation implemented Scheme II of the Leader+ Pilot Programme under the Sectoral Operational Programme “Restructuring and modernisation of the food sector and rural development 2004-2006”, which included the formulation of the tourism development strategy of the Local Action Group, 5 valuable village centres renewal projects, the tourism concept named “Szlak wsi lubuskiej” (The Lubusz Villages Trail), 5 viewing terraces and towers, 54 information boards, and the publication of the map of the LAG area and the history of the Neumark (New March) region. For its results in implementing the Leader+ Pilot Programme, in 2009 the Foundation received a special award of the Ministry of Regional Development in the contest titled “Siedem Cudów Funduszy Europejskich” (The Seven Wonders of European Funds).
As a Local Action Group, the Foundation implemented the Local Development Strategy under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 in six communes: Cybinka, Górzyca, Rzepin, Słońsk, Słubice and Witnica. The beneficiaries of the Strategy completed a total of 85 projects which included building 59 public tourist, recreational and cultural infrastructure facilities, restoring and renovating 8 valuable architectural objects, and modernising 7 businesses and farms. As part of its own activities, the Foundation released 11 publications, created a theme path, and participated in tourism trade fairs in Poland and Germany. Since 2016, the Local Action Group is managed by an Association, while the Foundation is handling all matters related to environment protection.