What is a Nature Park?
Diversity with certification
Nature parks are protected nature and cultural landscapes that are formed by the joint actions of humans and nature. The designation "Nature Park" thereby does not represent any particular nature reserve category, but rather a title that can be conferred upon existing protected areas by the Tyrolean provincial government. The legislative goal of the certification award is the protection of a landscape in connection with this usage – especially valuable and characteristic landscape areas should thereby be safeguarded and developed in a sustainable manner. There are five nature parks in Tyrol: in addition to the Zillertal Alps High Mountain Nature Park, there are also the Tyrolean Lech, Kaunergrat, Ötztal and Karwendel nature parks.
While the protected areas primarily serve to protect the natural and cultural landscape, a "nature park" is additionally a platform for recreation, eco-tourism, environmental education, research and regional development. The five intersecting areas of responsibility enable nature parks to function as model regions for sustainable development.
Visitors to the nature park are motivated to consciously perceive the environment. In the process, various experience-oriented forms of knowledge transfer play a special role. This takes place in exhibitions, in our Nature Park House, at information points, at theme paths or in the context of our guided tours.
In 1995, all Austrian nature parks joined forces within the Association of Austrian Nature Reserves (VNÄ).