The Lower Oder Valley National Park
Shortly after the opening of the European borders in 1990, German and Polish conservationists came together to create an international park in the Oder River Valley. Since 1993 the Polish part of the area, around 6,000 hectares, is a Landscape Park, and in 1995 a 10,500 hectare National Park was created on the German side of the river. Together with the surrounding protected areas the international Lower Oder Valley Park covers around 117,000 hectares.
The Oder's riparian zone is marked by the stream itself, by its bayous, reed beds, periodically flooded wet meadows and by its natural riparian forest. The hillsides surrounding the valley are covered with diverse deciduous forests. On the hilltops there are flowery, xeric grasslands. Such a great variety of biotopes on such a small scale is exceptional for Central Europe. The Oder Valley is especially well-known for its many bird species.
More than sheltering only wildlife, the flooded meadows of the Lower Oder Valley protect humans from disastrous floods, while their extensive reed beds cleanse the stream's water. During the last catastrophic flood, in the summer of 1997, the Lower Oder Valley proved its protective capacities. Because of the wide flood plains, human settlements were not endangered. The Lower Oder Valley is one of the last large, undeveloped biotopes in Germany, and the National Park is the only one in the country specifically protecting the floodplains of a river valley.
Protecting the Future
It is imperative to evolve and take care of this wealth for future generations and for the sake of nature itself. We welcome all visitors to get to know the beauty of the land and the riches of the flora and fauna in a sustainable manner, to admire God’s creation or to simply enjoy the wonders of nature. The Lower Oder Valley has something on offer for short as well as long stays, for old and young. Considering its continuously improving touristic infrastructure, the park is an ideal destination for the whole family. There are expertly guided tours, and cyclists and inline skaters will especially enjoy the freedom of movement in the park along well paved trails. The Lower Oder Valley is the ideal place for all visitors who wish for lasting experiences in pristine nature.