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Mikołów has long been called an oasis of green in industrial Upper Silesia, and the botanical garden may well change the image of the whole region. It is one of the biggest projects of that type in Poland which shows and promotes the green side of Silesia and contributes to the protection of nature in that area.
The development of the Silesian Botanical Garden in Mikołów-Mokre started in mid 1990s and covers among others the area formerly occupied by an army unit. The location was selected because it is rich in unique plants and interesting animals.
Former bunker was replaced by a modern building housing the Ecological and Nature Education Center with an observation tower. The Center has two audio-visual rooms, library, Seeds Bank, laboratories, classrooms and a phytotron used for studying the development of plants in various climate conditions.
The Garden has educational paths and plant collections including a collection of trees and shrubs, heathers, creepers and water plants. Avenues of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees are a big attraction. The orchard not only delights the eye but will also preserve the taste of fruits from old variety fruit trees.
The garden is also an important center which promotes natural environment and its protection and a highly-regarded research and publishing center. Thanks to efforts made by its employees, the center is popular among visitors who come here from all over the region not only to get information but also to relax.
Silesian Botanical Garden
The team which created the botanical garden also developed a concept of Mikołów as a garden city with major role played by green areas. The concept assumes that some of the Botanical Garden's collections will be spread in urban areas - in parks, squares but also in school and private gardens or garden plots.
Mikołów already amazes with its natural diversity. Apart from the Silesian Botanical Garden, Mikołów has two natural and scenic complexes - Jamna Valley and Kamionka Hill, as well as thirteen trees recognized as natural features of historic importance, and Planty park located close to the main square. The beginnings of this beautiful park, which is a part of the town's history date back to the 18th century. In 2001 Planty park was entered into the register of monuments of the Province of Silesia.
Planty park in Mikołów
Dr Bogdan Ogrodnik wrote that gardens are "an archetype of earthly happiness available to people", and are associated with the Garden of Eden.
Mikołów has a chance to become such a paradise-like place…
Środowisko przyrodnicze Mikołowa. Stan – zagrożenia – kształtowanie,
red. Damian Absalon, Katowice-Mikołów 2003.