History of the place
In the late 1990s, Pszczyna Town Council and the Agency for the Development and Promotion of the Land of Pszczyna joined forces to set up a European Bison Show Farm in one part of what is known as the Wild Promenade. The idea behind the new tourist attraction was to showcase the biodiversity of the old woodlands of Pszczyna to a wider audience. The area was called the Primeval Forest of Pszczyna in the past and is known as the Woodlands of Pszczyna today. The woodlands have changed hands between the ruling families of Pszczyna since 1336. Another, very important objective was to set up an additional breeding centre for the Pszczyna subline of the lowland line of European bison. In 1999, work began to obtain the necessary permits and to prepare the required design and engineering documentation. In June 2007, the construction of one of Pszczyna's most frequently visited tourist attractions was launched. The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)as part of the Integrated Regional Development Programme (Measure 1.4: Development of tourism and culture). The support amounted to PLN 4,192,011.61 (69.5%). The total cost of the project was nearly PLN 6,660,000 (inclusive of VAT). The Town of Pszczyna contributed the remaining 30.5%. The European Bison Show Farm, which is part of the Regional Network of Environmental Education Sites in the Silesian Province, was officially opened on 1 June 2008.
Prizes and awards
The European Bison Show Farm has been providing a broad spectrum of nature education activities to increase environmental awareness. Over the years, we have received many prizes and awards in recognition of our work. Examples include:
2009: an honourable mention in a nationwide Best EU-Funded Project competition run by the Polish Green Network Union of Associations in cooperation with Klub Gaja, a Polish environmental and cultural association;
2009: the first prize in the Best Tourist Product 2009 category, awarded by the Polish Tourism Organisation;
2009: an award in the 10th edition of the "Best Public Space in the Silesian Province" competition run by the government of the Silesian province;
2012: the third place in a survey to assess the quality of services provided by tourist information centres, conducted by the Meritum Academic Marketing Club and the Academic Tourism Club at the Katowice University of Economics;
2015: the winner of the European Bison Enthusiast award from the European Bison Friends Society in Warsaw;
2021: nomination for the Słoneczniki 2021 (Sunflowers 2021) award in a survey run by the CzasDzieci.pl web portal;
2022 - obtaining the highest rating by the Bison's Show Farm, the Tourist Information Office - four stars, as a result of the analysis of the National Certification Committee of the Polish Tourist Organization, certification applications submitted by representatives of tourist information centers, verified and recommended by the Regional Certification Committee.
Photo: M. Makowski