Annual report 2020

A special year, marked by the challenge of mastering a pandemic!

The Corona Virus brought a number of changes: more individual visitors, less organized events. A "new" normality has developed in our park and we have noticed how important a natural recreation area is for local residents and guests! This annual report summarizes our activities in the year 2020.

Open 365 days a year

2020 was a great challenge for our nature park. While many planned activities could not be carried out as usual, our park was busy with individual visitors as never before.

Here are a few numbers: The nature park team worked around 4,500 hours for maintaining the existing andcreating new nature protection infrastructure, for cleaning the park, improving hiking trails, and for keeping our animals in good health.
Our 45 animals in 5 enclosures (totalling 180 animal legs) have consumed 725 small bales of hay, 20 large bales of straw and approx. 8 tons of special feed.
About 35,000 guests have visited the nature park last, of which 1,400 took part in our educational programs and events.

January & February 2020 - there is a lot to do in winter

In winter our outdoor team supports the municipality of Purkersdorf for the required routine winter services. Furthermore, the cold season was used for cleaning and improving the workshop, to look after and service the equipment, and to prepare materials for upcoming work.

March & April 2020 - A different awakening of spring

With the first lockdown from mid-March, the team was working in two separate shifts in order to ensure to all necessary work, such as feeding and caring for the animals, and for checking and securing the nature park facilities could be carried out. Due to the persistent drought in spring, our forest biotope had to be re-filled with a considerable amount of water brought in with the support of the Purkersdorf fire brigade and through a 380-meter uphill hose line to ensure the survival of amphibians, especially the protected yellow-bellied toads.

May & June 2020 - The nature park in a new outfit

In the middle of May, after 2 months of intensive work, our new website went online, hand in hand with a new branding and logo. The new branding that is in line with an overall new branding of (almost) all nature parks in Lower Austria reflects the increased cooperation and synergies among the nature parks.  Subsequently, we have adjusted our signs and boards in the many information areas. In June the general manager Gabriela Orosel was interviewed by Michaela Necker for a report on Radio Klassik, that you can listen to as a podcast here.

July & August 2020 - High season for shadow-seeking visitors

In summer - with relaxed Covid-19 regulations - we were able to carry out some smaller events such as summer camps for kids and guided tours. We have also done maintenance work to improve our animal enclosures, in order to ensure animal well-being and safety of visitors. At the end of summer, the nature park was invited to present itself with interactive information booth at "Die Garten Tulln" garden fair, and during the nature conservation days in the famous Schönbrunn zoo.

September & October 2020 - The highlight of the season

In mid-September, the nature park celebrated its 45th anniversary at the traditional nature park afternoon party, which - despite numerous pandemic-related restrictions - was very successful through our special programme in which we offered thematic tours for small groups and an exhibition on the park's history. At the beginning of October - a few weeks before the next lockdown was implemented - we were able to stage our Feihlerhöhe scythe mowing event. It was a lot of fun (and a lot of work) for the schoolchildren and grown-ups to learn to use a scythe for the traditional way of cutting grass. Unfortunately, the "Waldfest" that we usually celebrate on the Austrian national holiday had to be cancelled.

A special innovation of 2020 was that we have offered our guests to take raw wool from our sheep and use it as a natural plant fertilizer. Due to the many Corona regulations, we had difficulties in the outdoor cooperation with our two partner schools, but we have maintained our ties to underline the importance of learning in and through nature, we have provided them with the book “Teaching Outside”.

November & December 2020 - a low-key end of the year

In mid-November, two new proposals were submitted to a project call from the Wienerwald Biosphere Reserve (which both were accepted in early 2021). Shortly before Christmas, well-known comedian Omar Sarsam, accompanied by three children, visited our Nature Park as part of the “A1 Smile Chistmas Magic” programme, where they learned a lot about the life and behavior of wild boars. Here is a videolink (the nature park appears from minute 8:04)

We say "thank you"

The Purkersdorf Nature Park wants to thank all our sponsors, partners and guests for their support in the year 2020.