The first Mushroom Educational Park in Croatia has opened in Raciljnjak Forest in Sveti Ivan Zelina.
The Amanita Mushroom Association, as part of the 21st Zelina Mushroom Festival under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Town of Sveti Ivan Zelina, and the Tourist Board of Sveti Ivan Zelina, officially opened the Mushroom Educational Park in Raciljnjak Forest, the first of its kind in Croatia.
After Father Ivan blessed the park and the Croatian Singing Society performed a special program, the Mayor of Sveti Ivan Zelina, Hrvoje Košćec, inaugurated the park by ceremoniously cutting the ribbon.
The Mushroom Park displays photographs with descriptions of 120 mushroom species. A pathway, water supply network, sanitary facilities, and an information counter have been constructed.
Starting from the next school year, Amanita will organise outdoor classrooms in the Mushroom Educational Park for interested schools, aiming to introduce students to the basics of mushroom cultivation and nature conservation.
The park was built with funds from the Agency for Agricultural Payments, the Town of St. Ivan Zelina, and the Amanita Mushroom Association, totalling 26,800 euros.
A meeting of determiners, experts in mycology, was held in the Council Hall, where mycologists from the Ruđer Bošković Institute, Dr. Ivana Kušan and Neven Matočec, gave a lecture on how to collect mushroom samples for DNA analysis.
Over 300 mushroom enthusiasts from 20 mushroom societies, from Istria to Slavonia and Međimurje, participated in the mushroom festival. More than 50 mushroom species were collected.
The award for the most beautifully harvested mushroom went to Jelena Sikirica Ćavar from the Kamilo Blagaić Mushroom Society, who picked a magnificent field mushroom (Agaricus macrosporus) in Kladešćica. In the competition for the best dance couple, Slavica Stančec (Vinica Women’s Association) and Damir Malizan (Karlovac Mushroom Society) won first place. Once again, the Krasnica Mushroom Society from Krapina was chosen as the most cheerful group, receiving a huge mushroom-shaped cake as a prize.
Exactly 50 members of Amanita diligently and actively participated in the organization and execution of the 21st Zelina Mushroom Festival.