Vransko Lake Nature Park to Get a Spring Makeover

March 6, 2018 - The Nature Park will get a new electric train and a small boat for visitor transport, followed by some new attractive activities for visitors

Vransko Lake Nature Park, situated halfway between Zadar and Šibenik on the Adriatic coast, is widely known as a unique natural lake that doubles as a wetland habitat for numerous bird species. The northwestern part of the lake was proclaimed a Special Ornithological Reserve back in 1983, one of the most precious bird habitats in all of Croatia. The Nature Park aims to teach visitors to develop a positive approach to nature, interpreting and presenting the local natural treasures in such a way that would make them accessible and easily understandable to guests.

"Where education of visitors is considered, we have the best expert staff among all other National Parks and Nature Parks [in Croatia]. Our main duty is to educate our visitors on the importance of nature preservation. It's only our guides or tour guides who completed our educational programme that are allowed to guide the visitors around the Park", said Danijel Katičin, the director of the Public Institute Vransko Lake Nature Park.

These days, the Nature Park is working on a major makeover, aiming to establish a better visitor management system, increase the quality of educational content and link all attractive checkpoints in the park into a cohesive network. Once the project is completed, the sustainable use of this natural heritage site will develop along with the sustainable social and economic growth on the local and regional levels, the Park management said.

The project is worth close to 30 million kuna, with 85% of expenses covered by the European Regional Development Fund. Vransko Lake Nature Park has also partnered with the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, the City of Biograd na Moru, the Association BIOM and the Association LAG Laura. All planned works and activities must be carried out by the end of 2021.

So, what will the project bring to this treasured site? First, they'll renovate the Crkvina port, followed by (re)construction of educational trails and cycling trails, the latter some 13 kilometres long in total. Info-points Vidikovac Kamenjak and Prosika will be equipped with solar panels, new information centres, and souvenir shops.

The Nature Park is also planning to acquire a new electric train with a capacity of 60 passengers, as well as a new solar-powered boat for visitor transport with a capacity of 12. In this way, multiple popular sites in the Park will get connected into a larger attractive route: visitors will be able to embark from Crkvina port and sail to Bašinka quay, admiring the scenery as they make their way across the lake, then hop onto the tourist train and head further to the viewpoint Kamenjak.

The management is also getting new kayaks and electric bikes for those fond of recreational activities, along with some new binoculars and telescopes for those visitors looking to engage in bird-watching. The latter can look forward to educational programmes prepared by the Association BIOM: starting from April, visitors will be able to take a bird recognition course, learning to identify various local species on a visual and auditory basis. Once they're done with the class, they'll be allowed to take the official online test for recognition of Croatian bird species, and be granted an official certificate from the University Nord.


Translation of excerpts from Lokalni.