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Trail of Bird Lovers Inaugurated in City Park

Dorottya Zalay 2021.06.13.

The Educational Trail of Bird Lovers next to Mőcsényi Mihály Botanic Garden in City Park was inaugurated on Thursday. The primary aim of the project is to provide an experience-based education to children from  nearby schools and kindergartens.

Benedek Gyorgyevics, the CEO of Városliget Zrt., who is responsible for the Liget Budapest Project, said that this new nature trail will serve an educational purpose by accommodating outdoors science and biology classes where pupils can learn about the flora and fauna of City Park. On the path, out of the less than 300 bird species found in Hungary, 123 species have been observed so far.

The first ones to try the newly inaugurated trail were the pupils of the Derkovits Gyula Elementary School in the 6th district, who participated in a unique biology class.

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While the Mőcsényi Mihály Botanic Garden already opened to visitors at the end of 2020, it has fully regained its former splendor with the arrival of spring when the 35,000 newly-planted buds of 335 plant species started blossoming. Gyorgyevics highlighted that this segment of City Park, formerly known as Kis botanikus kert (Small botanical garden), was inaugurated in 1967 to mark the 100th anniversary of Budapest gardening company FŐKERT, and contained herbs, garden plants, grapes, fruit, annual flowers, in addition to water, swamp, and rock-garden plants. Over the past decades, however, the botanic garden had severely deteriorated, becoming a nearly uninhabitable part of City Park, which people tended to avoid.

Photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI

The long-awaited renovation was carried out in collaboration with the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society, in the framework of the Liget Budapest project. In the restoration process, they aimed to restore the botanic garden to its original state. Now there is an arbor on one of the walks, complete with a toddler trail, in addition to a Kneipp trail with different surfaces to be walked on barefoot. Along their original trails, streams, fed by a spring, run through the botanic garden, while pools display water and swamp wildlife, and a new, modern building awaits visitors with hospitality and information services.

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The botanic garden is an ideal place for pupils to learn not only about the flora, but the bird species of the area, too. There are ten stations along the educational path which present the diverse bird population with the help of signs using plain language, and lifelike illustrations.

The education trail is open to everyone throughout the day, however, school groups are given priority in the mornings. The CEO of Városliget Zrt. added that this interactive trail is an ideal activity for families as well:

“Parents are welcome to visit with the little ones, as this modern, 21st-century ‘urban hiking trail’ ensures that even the youngest have a valuable and meaningful experience out in the fresh air.”

The natural and near-natural habitats, especially the bird population of Budapest represent a considerable natural value in a European context as well. Although City Park is the result of the gardening and maintenance work carried out since the 18th century, many animal species native to Hungary have chosen the park as their habitat.

Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI