Warsaw. Park on the Vistula River in Golędzinów collects critical comments online. The city defends an idea

The Warsaw authorities announced their intention to turn the wild areas of Golędzinów on the Vistula River into a “natural park”. The idea sparked a lot of negative reactions. “The charm of this place is that it is undeveloped”, “this area is doing very well as a nature reserve” – ​​these are some of them. There were allegations that the residents had not been consulted. City Hall defends its decision. A representative of the greenery of the capital argued in an interview with tvnwarszawa.pl that it is not about disturbing nature, but about “organizing recreational traffic”. According to the preliminary cost estimate, PLN 10 million should be allocated for the changes.

It is a vast area full of trees, breeding grounds and animals – you can meet ducks, herons, cormorants, wild boars and roe deer here. The capital house announced its intentions in a statement on Thursday. In it we read that the mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, decided to create the Golędzinów Natural Park. On the north bank of the Vistula River, between the Gdański Bridge and the Grota-Roweckiego Bridge, an area of ​​65 hectares is being developed. From the east, the park is bordered by a flood embankment and on the western edge by a steep slope of the Vistula. The entrance is planned at the level of the Kamień Educational Pavilion. The city hall wants to organize an architecture competition later this year.

“The charm of this place is that it is undeveloped”

Quite unexpectedly, the announced idea of ​​the town hall led to discussion and generated many critical opinions.

Urban activist Jan Mencwel of the association Miasto Jest Nasz wrote on Twitter: “Łąki Golędzinowskie is a beautiful, semi-wild, quiet place that needs no interference. And of course no one asked the inhabitants of Praga …”.

He developed his reservations in an interview with tvnwarszawa.pl. – This is a bizarre message. There is already a park on this spot. It is a beautiful area on the Vistula River with an unmown meadow, rich in different kinds of plants, there are fruit trees. The residents like to make use of this semi-wild area. I see no reason why this area should be transformed into an uncluttered park with defined alleys – said Jan Mencwel.

– The charm of this place is that it is unfinished. It is nature that determines what this area should look like. Thanks to this, you can meet a lot of animals and rare bird species there – he argued.

City Hall: we want to protect, not appropriate

We asked Iwona Zwolińska, head of the Vistula division on the board of directors of Zieleni m.st. From Warsaw.

– The idea was born a few years ago. We called it “a park without trees” because we have absolutely no intention of making new plantings. We believe that the natural values ​​of Golędzinów are valuable in themselves – said Zwolińska. – Contrary to what it seems, the idea of ​​creating a natural park is more to protect this area than to introduce anthropopression (human activities that affect the natural environment – ed.) – she stated.

She argued that the human pressure in the inner city is unstoppable, but can be ‘well managed’. – People want to make use of such beautiful and rich natural areas, that is clear. But they don’t always do it the right way. Our experience working on the Vistula shows that it is best to concentrate on protecting the most valuable and organizing tourist and recreational traffic. The idea of ​​creating a nature park in Golędzinów is to resemble creating a landscape park. It should be remembered that new residential areas are being built near the right bank of the river. More and more residents will come and with it the pressure in this area. Our goal is to protect these areas, not to appropriate them – Zwolińska assured.

The representative of Warsaw’s Green put forward another argument for change: “leash dogs”. – This is a very undesirable phenomenon. If we incorporate this space in the form of a park with its own regulations, we can eliminate such phenomena – said Zwolińska.

What we have now, we think is a park in itself. It’s just a matter of arranging this space – she said.

“This area is attractive enough, and above all unique in terms of nature”

One of the project’s opponents is Justyna Glusman, former coordinator for sustainable development and greenery in Warsaw. Commenting under Rafał Trzaskowski’s Twitter post, she pointed out that there are places in Warsaw where interference with greenery is much more necessary than in the case of Golędzinów. “But why? This area is doing very well as a nature reserve. Even worse with the Wawerbocht – trails and landings will be useful there – a natural green area will be created, protected from wild development” – wrote Glusman.

In an interview with our editors, Glusman confirms that he thinks the idea is “absolutely wrong”. – This area is attractive enough, and above all unique in terms of nature. In my opinion it is a kind of painting the grass green. The introduction of additional infrastructure elements could threaten the nature of the Vistula River, he says.

– This project does not follow from a municipal strategy nor does it fit into the Warsaw Environmental Protection Programme. This is a typical pitch whose goals are probably only political, because it will not bring green areas, nor closer to the inhabitants, which is based on urban strategies and the study of the conditions and directions of spatial development of the city – explains Justyna Glusman.

According to our interlocutor, it concerns “substantially wrongful acts”. – Of course you can think about building additional footpaths to improve access to these meadows, but an architectural competition is not necessary. These are additional costs, first of the competition itself, then of the detailed design and then of its implementation. And all this to destroy nature near … the ecological education pavilion. The city has long said there is a lack of money, so it needs to prioritize. For example, to protect the Wawer Bight from development by designing a natural park there – an urban wetland, the concept of which was created two years ago, or to develop green areas around the watercourses below the Skocznia in Mokotów, which are today inaccessible to residents. Extra greenery is also needed in many districts, for example Praga Północ, which means there are a whole host of much more important expenses – Glusman emphasized.

City Hall plans changes in Golędzinów (video without sound)Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

PLN 10 million in the preliminary cost estimate

The preliminary cost estimate shows that the construction of a nature park in Golędzinów could cost PLN 10 million. – Of which a significant part of this amount is the promenade on the banks of the flood – said Iwona Zwolińska of the Zieleni Board of the capital Warsaw. From Warsaw.

As she explained, the existing recreational path along the Vistula River and the levee in this area are the traffic directions that must be preserved. – We would see the main movement on the embankment, something like a promenade – described our interlocutor. – We want to introduce elements of small architecture there, put benches along communication routes. There could be a watchtower as a pulpit for bird watching. We also thought about educational paths that are built on piles so that they do not hinder the site, which would connect the flood defense with the existing recreational path. But it will depend on the opinion of landscape architects and naturalists – Zwolińska added.

Main photo source: Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

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