© JUPP Vransko jezero
The Vransko Lake Nature Park celebrated its 21st birthday with a rich program
October 20, 2020
Located between the two historical cities of Zadar and Šibenik, along the Adriatic coast towards northern Dalmatia, Vransko Lake is known as the largest natural lake in Croatia.
Thanks to its dominating characteristic as a special ornithological reserve, to its enormous wealth of biodiversity information, and its extraordinary scientific and ecological value, Vransko Lake has been included in the list of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Europe and became a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site) in 2013.
©Vlatka D. Mazal
Vransko Lake and its surroundings were declared a Nature Park on July 21st, 1999, and the Public Institution Vransko Lake Nature Park is celebrating its 21st birthday this year. To mark that occasion, a rich two-day program was organized. The first day of the celebration was dedicated to the education of children, while on the second day all visitors to the Park, with free admission, were able to participate in numerous activities.
On Friday, October 2, students of the Elementary School of Sv. Filip i Jakov, as future nature protection technicians, and the students of Gračac High School participated in the volunteer program “Restoration of the wet meadow”, organized by the Public Institution Vransko Lake Nature Park and the Biom Association. During the program, the students learned why wet meadows are important, and they actively contributed to their protection.
The elementary school students showed great skills in transplanting seedlings of blackberries, figs and other plant species characteristic of the Mediterranean climate. These plants, as they grow, will provide birds with an additional source of food and will create a green barrier, as well as an auditory and visual protection from nearby roads and visitor infrastructure. The high school students showed skills and strength in leveling the degraded part of the meadow, thus helping it to be properly maintained by mowing in the following years.
On Saturday, October 3, the Park witnessed a large turnout of visitors who, despite the strong wind, flocked to it to spend a beautiful time and enjoy the greenness of nature. And this turnout from visitors enjoyed a careful follow-up and a distinctive organization from the Park staff to ensure comfort for all. The Park provided them with a rich program, so they were able to participate in various events and activities in it, which included: volunteer action, birdwatching in the ornithological reserve, a guided tour and the local products fair at the Kamenjak Viewpoint, an electric train ride or testing skills in the Adventure Park, next to the Crkvine info centre.
In addition to the employees of the Park, members of the Biom Association and the Red Cross City Society Zadar, numerous volunteers mostly from Pakoštane, Zadar and the surrounding area, joined the volunteer action of leveling the uneven part of the meadow, as a part of the “Restoration of the wet meadow” project. The volunteers did a huge and commendable job as they, with their own hands, contributed to help “every bird wants to land on this meadow”, as high school student Ivan motivates his classmates. The wet meadow, located in the ornithological reserve near the wooden educational trail, is necessary as a feeding and resting site for many bird species present on the Vransko Lake.
At the same time, both young and old enjoyed the Adventure Park! One boy, Ante from Šibenik, celebrated his birthday with his friends and family in this unique ambiance.
On October 3, the Park also marked the EuroBirdwtach 2020 – BirdLife’s annual birdwatching event in Europe and Central Asia, which allowed the participants of the guided ornithological reserve tour to enjoy the bird watching, featuring numerous ducks, herons, pygmy cormorants that bravely resisted the strong wind.
At the Kamenjak Viewpoint, one of the most beautiful lookouts on the Adriatic, visitors were greeted by a dozen local family farmers who offered them local agricultural products and souvenirs made of lavender and wood.
Overall, the 21st birthday of the Vransko Lake Nature Park was enthusiastically celebrated in the circle of the local community and the nature lovers!