What was the challenge/ problem addressed?
In 1992, through the initiative of the municipality of Adlwang, under the leadership of the then municipal forester Alois Kammerhuber, the “Forest Nature Trail” was built in the forests “Hallerwald” and “Bräuerschacher”. In 2015 – 23 years have left their mark on the nature trail – AL Alfred Pramhas suggested a redesign process for the recreation area “Hallerwald”. After some preliminary discussions, a constituent and first meeting of the “ARGE Hallerwald” took place. The focus of this meeting was an analysis of the current situation and the decision on the start of a redesign project for the forest nature trail. Subsequently, the Leader Management was contacted in order to find out the framework conditions for project funding. After a newspaper report and further discussions with responsible persons, the Montessori Children’s House, the Bad Hall Tourism Association, and the Bad Hall Alpine Club joined the ARGE. After a brainstorming round and a maturing process, the name “Hallerwald Erholung.Kraft.Weitblick” (Hallerwald Recreation.Strength.Vision) and the idea for the redesign were decided in June 2016. It was decided to work out the details for the submission of a funding project under LE 14-20. Ideas and considerations were further refined and a search for a natural area planner was conducted and a competent and experienced planner was found. In the next step all landowners, neighbours and project partners were invited to a presentation. In this round, the planned projects were discussed and ideas, wishes and suggestions were recorded. These were incorporated into the further planning. Over the summer of 2017, further preliminary planning and the preparation of a cost breakdown took place. On October 2, the final project presentation (Leader) took place with the subsequent project funding approval. Subsequently, the intensive detailed planning started. The further construction measures were carried out step by step in small-scale construction phases and in consideration of the research project running at the same time. Thus, the forest could be used for recreation during the entire implementation phase.
How did you solve the problem?
Despite the tireless efforts, it became clear in the fall of 2019 that a project completion by the end of 2019 was not realistic. In time, the application for an extension of the project duration was granted. With increasing awareness of the project and growing popularity to visit the Hallerwald, the first problems came to light. It was necessary to put up more traffic and visitor information signs and to provide a place for personal needs. A sustainable, environmentally friendly solution – entirely in the spirit of the project – had to be found.
“Forest bathing”, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the forest with body and mind. The enormous biodiversity in the forest holds a great treasure of positive and healthy micro bacteria and keeps them ready for us. Many of these substances get into the air from the plants and leaves, which we then breathe in and support our immune system. Spending time in the forest acts as a kind of aromatherapy. With this idea in mind, the “Waldlehrpfad” (forest nature trail), a circular path about 4 km long, is being redesigned. Visitors’ senses are stimulated and their connection to nature is strengthened. 12 stations convey interesting knowledge and invite to different exercises. Objectives: Imparting knowledge and creating awareness; enhancing the local recreation area “Hallerwald” for Adlwang and the tourism region of Bad Hall and beyond.
What are the success factors in solving the problem?
The cooperation and support for this project in the village and beyond grew steadily. Many associations support the project. Here are a few examples: The youth group of the FF Adlwang created the “Schleichweg” through the thicket. The Lederhosen Club decided without further ado to lay the paving stones at Steyrtalblick and the Pfarrkirchen/Adlwang rural youth group participated in the construction of the tepee in the form of an action day. A group of passionate “woodworkers” from the village development association deserve special thanks for the beautiful design of the hut extension at the elevated tank – including the herb tower and the necessary railings and other wooden constructions. Special thanks to the wooden structures PROJECT SUCCESS – increasing use of the facilities for recreational purposes – regular visits to the forest by the kindergarten – Awareness-raising among visitors “For a good community”. – holding of excursions and guided tours – 4 holiday calendar events – construction of an insect hotel – Orientation hike incl. knowledge transfer and tree planting in the course of the FF district youth camp – Request for a project presentation in connection with Green Care for the Federal Forest Research Centre. – Information event with approx. 300 visitors
Unexpected fails, if any
In the course of detailed planning, the idea came up to design a lounger with a folding function. After several drafts, a prototype was built. The function of the couch is similar to a theatre chair. When the patient leaves the couch, it automatically folds into a vertical position. The back of the couch then forms a kind of roof and protects the couch surface from getting wet. Difficulties with the technical implementation and the associated increasing costs caused the project to fail. The planned construction of several couches was then suspended. The existing prototype was assembled in a modified form and is now available to forest visitors as a single piece. The nets proved to be an excellent substitute. These were erected in combination with a wooden support frame in different variations and positions. During the construction of various foundations and paths, poor subsoil conditions unexpectedly occurred. This resulted in additional work and material costs. The members of the village development association once again lent a hand to meet these challenges. In this way, costs could be saved. “The time required for the research project was underestimated. As a result, we floundered somewhat with the timetable for the project implementation. the associated redesign of many a detail led to various shifts in the budget. Despite all this, there was only a small budget overrun.
Motivating the population to volunteer to help implement the project strengthens the village community. Within the framework of a funded project, it is difficult to let the project “grow/develop”. Changes to the plans and thus to the cost items are associated with enormous bureaucratic effort. In general, there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in such a funded project. We were not aware of the extent of this beforehand.
What role does the advisor or advisory service play within the practical case?
The Leader Management was contacted to find out about the framework conditions for project funding. After a newspaper report and further discussions with responsible persons, the Montessori Children’s House, the Bad Hall Tourism Association and the Bad Hall Alpine Club joined the ARGE. There were cooperation agreements with the municipality and the village development association. . All landowners, neighbouring residents and project partners were invited to a presentation. In this round, the planned projects were discussed and ideas, wishes and suggestions were recorded. These were incorporated into the further planning. Over the summer of 2017, further preliminary planning and the preparation of a cost breakdown took place. The project was accompanied scientifically by a research project by Dr. Renate Cervinka from the University of Agricultural and Environmental Education. We were also advised by various specialist companies and our “open space planner” Dr. Wolfgang Eder.
Can your approach be transferred and/or adapted for other innovation challenges and regions?
Estimated transferability on a scale from 1 to 5
(where 1 is easy and 5 very difficult)
For sharing the experience on the good practice, please contact Dr. Renate Cervinka (renate.cervinka[at]haup.ac.at) and Stefan Achathaler (stefan.achathaler[at]gmx.at)
Search for more information www.hallerwald.at and https://www.badhall.at/oesterreich-tour/detail/430000449/30-hallerwald-erholung-kraft-weitblick.html