A unique Ecological Education Centre to spring up in Sosnowiec, Poland
The current Sosnowiec Exotarium is set for a major transformation
- August 04, 2020 17:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
The south Polish city of Sosnowiec will soon boast a unique facility dedicated to ecological education. A few days ago, the municipal authorities announced an agreement which will bring about the complete transformation of the existing Sosnowiec Exotarium into an Ecological Education Centre, complemented by a nearby Biodiversity Park.
Learning about native animal and plant species firsthand
In two years’ time, the New Exotarium in Sosnowiec, Silesia, should be completed. The facility will preserve the historical heritage and the collections presented so far while expanding the scope of its activities. Visitors will be able to admire the collection of fish from the Przemsza River basin. The building itself will be surrounded by native plant habitats: hornbeam oak biotope and xerothermic grassland.
Furthermore, there will be two modern classrooms in the building, equipped with computers, microscopes, multimedia, allowing for students to attend lessons in nature, biology and geography. Workshops, lectures, exhibitions accompanied with viewings of tropical plants and animals in the palm house and a mini-cinema where each visitor will can watch an educational film about nature.
Visitors will start the educational journey inside the building from level -1 housing huge aquariums with fish from around the world. One will also be able to explore reptiles and insects in the adjacent terrariums.
Then, the educational path will lead the visitor to the Palm House on the ground floor. Here the main exhibits will be plants and among them – animals. The Palm House will be divided into three zones: Mediterranean climate zone, desert zone and tropical zone, each with different conditions. The journey around the Exotarium will end at level +1 where the classrooms, an educational cinema, as well as a cafe will be located.
Iguana, frog turtle, boa, python, and the great toucan are some of the many species to be seen on the ground floor in the new facility. Image: City of Sosnowiec
The surroundings will also play an educational role. A long water reservoir will be built along the glass facade of the Palm House.
This habitat will cover the shores of watercourses and reservoirs as a reflection of the biotope originally located on the banks of the Przemsza River. Due to the pressures of human development and tourism, more and more swamps and areas are being drained, and these kind of habitats are lost, so here visitors will have the opportunity to see plants that are in danger of extinction.
Education with elements of sustainability
After an unsuccessful tender in September 2019, Mostostal Zabrze (consortium leader) and Maximus ZBH (partner) won with their pricing offer of PLN 63,967,412.71 (around 14,5 million euros). They now have two years to complete the construction.
To make this a reality, some 15.3 million PLN come from the regional operational programme of the Slaskie Voivodeship for the period 2014-2020. Aimed to fostering biodiversity, the money will go for the creation of the Ecological Education Centre "Exotarium" and the revitalization of green areas in the so-called Millennium Park.
Finally, the new Exotarium will be powered with renewable energy sources. As part of the investment, photovoltaic panels, allowing the conversion of sunlight into electricity, will be installed. In addition, rainwater from the roof will be used to irrigate green areas.
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