English summary

 Fekete István Educational Center (Városkert)

     The Fekete István Educational Center was built in the Véderdő forest of the Városkert (literally "Town Garden") after 10 years of dreaming, saving money and application for grants. The building is situated far from the city center and it was finished in 2004. Fortunately the Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association could buy additionally a large part of the former „Városkert” property, so today the new educational center is situated in the middle of a 6-hectare forest. It is not only the home for three civil associations but it is also essential for conference tourism, for ecotourism, for camp services and for the development of local horse riding culture today. If you would like to know more about Túrkeve and the surrounding region, you should not miss the Fekete István Educational Center during your travel. As a visitor you can get more information about the history of the city, the natural values and you can choose among several services depending on your taste and interests. Signs show the entrance from the Ecsegi utca. Do not be frightened away by the walk on the winding road passing by various buildings, including a pottery and the stables, leading up to the educational center in the shades of the forest. You can also apply for a trip by cart, horse riding classes or trail riding in the surroundings.


Address: 5420 Túrkeve, Ecsegi utca 22/a

Telephone: +36 56 361 505

Opening hours: from Monday to Sunday, from 9 AM to 6 PM

E-mail: info'at'nimfea.hu

URL: www.nimfea.hu

Services: youth accommodation, guided eco tours, guided bird watching, horse riding, horse riding classes, trips by horse carts, forest school, youth camps, fully equipped conference hall, canoing trips


Canoing, fishing tourism


            A trip on the river Hortobágy-Berettyó is an ideal programme for the lovers of water and water sports. The Hortobágy-Berettyó main channel is actually the lower part of the river Hortobágy, situated between the small hill of Ágota-halom and the river mouth. Before the regulation of the rivers the river Berettyó flowed here; in those days the river Hortobágy was only a ride-side tributary of Berettyó. At the end of the 19th century the original bed of the Berettyó was artificially changed, so now the original bed carries the water from the former tributary into the river Hármas-Körös. The original bed had much more bends and crooks but it was amended in many places during the regulation works, making it similar to an artificial canal. This refers especially to the lower part of the river near the estuary, protected by flood gates against the damming effect of the floods arriving on the river Hármas-Körös. The river between Ágota-halom and Bucsa is relatively straight and looks like a canal. The section between Bucsa and the Ballai-híd bridge still preserves its original state: rich in bends and crooks, surrounded by floodplains covered with aquatic plants and there are no dikes against floods either. Between Ballai-híd bridge and the bridge close to Mezőtúr the number of bends is smaller. This part of the river is more and more characterized by shorter or longer straight canal-like sections. From the bridge close to Mezőtúr the river is bordered by dikes and it is almost totally straight. Before the river reaches the river Hármas-Körös, it separates into two branches. The best choice for canoeing is the 26 km long section between the bridge at Ecsegfalva and Ballai-híd bridge, because this area offers the mot interesting sights for nature-lovers, and it can be freely visited. Those who would like to take a trip by a motor-boat should observe the rules of the Körös-Maros National Park, including the ban to use an engine with a cylinder capacity exceeding 125 cm3.

River  regulation works starting from the second part of the 19th century – destroying the beautiful wetlands and marshes of the Nagy-Sárrét – did not affect this part of the river. Therefore neither bends were cut through, nor were dikes built here right next to the shore. Consequently the grasslands embraced by the bends remained untouched, and they are used as meadows or pastures now. Usually there are two floods on the river Hortobágy-Berettyó every year, due to the melting snow in the catchment areas abroad, generally at the end of April and in the middle of June. During these periods the river Berettyó is especially beautiful because you canoe around not only in the bed but you can also visit the floodplain and the system of pits left from the time of river regulation, covered by shallow water. The maximum depth of the water is mostly between 3 m and 5 m and the fluctation of the water-level can exceed 2 meters. The stream of the water – except for the narrow sections and the floods – is quite slow, therefore the bed is filling up, especially near the estuary. The natural shores are usually gently sloping. Here in the shallow water smaller or larger patches of reed and cattail mix with floating and rooted aquatic communities. The steeper shores are bordered by reed, and in certain areas the riparian plant community of willows and poplars appear along the floodplains. During bird migration in spring you can find a wide diversity of bird species here; then in summer fishing herons and egrest (grey, purple and night herons, little and great whire egrets) can be observed. The river Hortobágy-Berettyó is the favourite place of local fishermen, for a succesful catch you need to know the area very well. In addition it has become more difficult to find a good fishing site, because shore plants have been spreading fast during the last decade.  

Disturbing and breaking up the shore vegetation is strictly forbidden and will be heavily fined by the national park! In certain places the floating seaweed can cause problems, because it is not visible from the board and the fishing-line can get caught and tangled. Therefore please seek advice on the appropriate fishing technique and use the appropriate equipment. Angling by a boat is more successful than sitting on the shore with a rod.

The fish fauna of the river Hortobágy-Berettyó is rich and diverse containing about 40 fish species. The most common species are white bream, roach and in the flooded places and slower riverside waters the Prussian carp. Early spring carps migrate from the Körös rivers to their traditional breeding areas here in the Berettyó, so if you are looking for noble fish, you can also have some luck. Most of these migrating fish stay here until autumn when the water level is lowered. There is plenty of wels in the river, but most of them do not reach the minimum length of 50 cm, so they cannot be caught. Pikes are common in shallow waters; pikeperch usually can be found in the deeper parts of the bed.

Please note that catching knife, crucian carp and is forbidden during the entire year because of nature conservation purposes in all sections of the river belonging to the national park. The usage rights of the area are held by the Körös Fishermens’ Association in Gyomaendrőd;for fishing permission you should contact the association.  


Forest school in Túrkeve


What is a forest school?

Forest schools are building on the pedagogical, education organization innovations of the early 20th century. At the beginning, teaching outdoors served solely health improvement aims, later it has been complemented with the concept and methodology of environmental education, the tools of “project-based learning” shifting away from the classroom practices of short, isolated, teacher-centered lessons and emphasizing instead learning activities that are long-term, interdisciplinary, student-centered, and integrated with real world issues and practices. Such programs provide opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, where knowledge becomes integrated in the production process. This makes learning relevant and useful by establishing connections to real life situations and also developing real world skills, such as the ability to work well with others, make thoughtful decisions, take initiative, and solve complex problems.      

Our forest school programmes has been runnign from September 2004. School groups are welcome to participate at various programmes, programme packages and optional modules. We have developed three complete one-week-long forest school packages, continuously enriched with services and programmes from year to year. Our optional modules are accredited forest school services, and new modules are also available upon request.

We offer an accommodation facility and a suitable, fully equipped location for those who wish to implement their own forest school projects. In addition, 45-minute, half-day or full-day programmes can also be requested.

The main theme of our programmes is understanding and experiencing wetlands, presenting and observing the flora and fauna of grasslands and plains. In the river Hortobágy-Berettyó animals and plants of wetlands and marshes, floodplain woods can be observed, water quality can be analyized; canoing and boat trips help the students to get deeper knowledge about water ecosystems. Our groups visit nearby protected and non-protected areas to observe the grassland ecosystems. Tours can be taken by bike, by horse cart or on foot to the territory of the Körös-Maros National Park, to the surrounding grasslands of Balai-puszta, Pásztó-puszta, to the fishing lakes of Malom-zug or the heron colony of Farkas-zug. An excursion to the Great Bustard Reservation Center in Dévaványa gives an interesting insigth to the daily work of nature conservation. Our other programmes include a cultural-historical tour, pottery, making raffia works and various other handicrafts, sports activities, horse riding, lectures and slide shows about nature conservation, bird protection, fish species, local natural values and sustainable development. Visiting the bird rescue and repatriation center next to the educational center and meeting with traditional Hungarian animal breeds can also be an exciting and enriching element of the programme. Specialized teachers, colleagues of the national park and external experts ensure the great experience of the groups.

For further more information about our forest school services please contact Zsuzsa Székely (environmental instructor) at zsuzsa'at'nimfea.hu   


Camps about nature in Túrkeve


The Fekete István Educational Center is a perfect place for lectures both for children and adults in Túrkeve. Its lecture hall is equipped with various media projectors and video, and has a capacity of 70 people. School groups from all over the country are welcome to take part in our programmes with a view to raise awareness about natural values. Different games and competitions are organized regularly to commemorate important "green days" such as the World Water Day, Earth Day and World Environment Day. Awareness-raising presentations for youth groups are given on regular basis either as invited lecturers in schools or for our guests in the educational center – the themes may cover a wide range, including protected fish species, selective waste collection, ecological foods, bird protection and national parks. Lectures and workshops are organized for teachers about renewable energies, global environmental problems and sustainable development. Our awareness-raising activities are closely related to our publications, reaching different target groups and covering a wide variety of issues, such as indigenous trees and bushes, the fish fauna of Hungary, the interconnections of nature conservation and tourism, our regular newsletter and various poster and postcard series. Different summer camps are also organized, including nature exploring or horse riding camps with accomodation and full board for 10-15 year old children. Our day-care camps provide useful and interesting programmes from 8 AM to 5 PM to help parents during the shool holidays. For further information information about camps and other awareness-raising programmes please contact Zsuzsa Székely (environmental instructor) at zsuzsa'at'nimfea.hu  


Conference tourism in Túrkeve



The Fekete István Educational Center is situated in the middle of a quiet and peaceful forest in Túrkeve, a 10 minute walk from the town center. The educational center has a lecture room suitable for 70 persons, equipped with media projectors and internet-enabled computers, a gallery and office space on the second floor; thus the location is perfect to host conferences, lectures, workshops, training courses and seminars. Local governments, public education institutes, companies and any other organizations are welcome to organize their events and programmes in this quiet and fully equipped location. Accommodation facility, catering and full services are available for up to 100 people for several days. Traditional local foods are cooked and served in open-air, and leisure activites can also be offered, such as bird watching or horse-cart excursions, night bathing in the spa, tasting wine together or organizing banquets. Accommodation facilites include youth accommodation as well as guest rooms and apartments. For more information about event hosting please contact Zsuzsa Székely (environmental instructor) at zsuzsa'at'nimfea.hu  


Bird watching in Túrkeve


Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association offers bird watching and nature discovery tours both for Hungarian and foreign visitors. The visitors can observe internationally or nationally protected bird species, among other spoonbills, little egrets, black storks, ferruginous ducks, Montagu’s harriers, red-footed falcons, sakers, imperial eagles, white-tailed eagles, short-eared owls, collared pratincoles, great bustards, stone curlews, rollers and many other species depending on the season. These tours are provided only with trained guides. The participants may travel by bikes, carts, canoes, motorboats or cars in case of long distance tours. These excursions provide opportunities for the observation of different phases of landscape-ecological succession, and also cultural and historical values. By participating in these tours, you support the habitat and species protection programme of Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association. The target areas are primarily the grasslands, forests and wetlands of Nagykunság and Nagy-Sárrét regions. Nature photographers may make use of our hides for succesful wildlife pictures; these hides are mostly situated in wetlands or close to the winter feeding places of birds of prey.


Ecotourism around Túrkeve


Nowadays ecotourism is becoming more and more popular. However, please keep in mind that ecotourism is more than visiting protected natural areas – your responsible attitude and behaviour is the key to environmentally friendly tourism. Doing ecotourism means making decisions about among others the vehicle we use, the food we eat and the souvenirs we buy, the way we respect the carrying capacity of nature, including the disposal of our waste, our behaviour at wildlife habitats or the respect towards local culture and taditions. Being an ecotourist requires responsible living, not only calling an excursion "ecotour".

Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association offers several tour opportunities around Túrkeve, enabling our visitors to see natural, cultural and historical values as well. Maps and information for these trips are provided in the Fekete István Educational Center, but is it recommended to ask a local guide, who knows the territory and the nature protection regulations. Choose an environment-friendly way of transportation, use recyclable packaging material and let's get started!


Best places for bike tours: Túrkeve – the floodplains of the river Hortobágy-Berettyó – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – the river Hortobágy-Berettyó – the Bustard Reservation Center in Dévaványa – Balai plains – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – Pásztó plains – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – Öregerdő (Old forest) of Kisújszállás – Gyalpár (plains) of Kisújszállás – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – the river Hortobágy-Berettyó – fishing lakes of Kenderessziget, Túrkeve - Kisújszállás – plains and fishing lakes near Karcag – Zádor bridge of Karcag – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – the river Hortobágy-Berettyó – Túrkedd (place of an ancient settlement) – Csejt plains – Balai plains – Túrkeve

Tours by cart or mounted tours: Túrkeve – Malom-zug – Balai plains – Túrkeve, Túrkeve – the river Hortobágy-Berettyó – Túrkeve

Further places to visit: Botanic garden of Tiszakürt, Botanic garden of Tiszaigar, Botanic garden of Szarvas, windmills in Kunhegyes and Kengyel, the river Tisza and the floodplains of the Körös rivers, Mágor plains and Csoltmonostor (ruins from the middle ages and historical museum) near Vésztő, Castle Csáky-Bolza in Szarvas, Kun mounds (burial mounds from the ancient times), Györffy István Nagykun Museum


Horse riding, trail rides


            Nimfea Environment and Nature Conservation Association dedicates serious efforts to enrich, develop and revitalize the equestrian culture of Túrkeve. After making use of the favourable conditions of the Városkert forest hosting the educational center, quality horse breeding will be launched as a part of the landscape rehabilitation programme in future. Visitors can see mostly Hungarian breeds at the small demonstration site in the forest, such as Shagya Arabian (from Bábolna), Furioso-North Star and Kisbér halfbreds; the mares are the basis for future breeding in the stable. Skilled trainers are available for our visitors from beginner to advanced level, or for a pleasure trail ride in the countryside. If you like horses, please feel free to visit the educational center – you can also meet racka sheep, a traditional and unique Hungarian breed.  


Our services include horse boarding and instructional services, such as riding classes with lead rope or in a ring, trail rides, basic show-jumping and dressage exercises, guided horse-cart tours. Please arrange your appointment in advance.



Useful addresses


    You can find some useful telephone numbers and websites here, which can ease orientation, provide further information or can help in case of emergency for the visitors in Túrkeve:

Finta Museum (Attila utca 1.)                                                              56/554-413

Great Bustard Reservation Center of Dévaványa (Dévaványa, Réhely) 66/483-083

Visitors' center of the Körös-Maros National Park in Szarvas              66/313-855

Municipality of Túrkeve (Petőfi tér 1.)                                                 56/361-505

Medical institution (doctors)                                                                56/361-511

Pharmacy                                                                                           56/362-025

Ambulance                                                                                         56/361-315

Police                                                                                                56/361-110

Official website of Túrkeve                                                     www.turkeve.hu

Information website for the citizens of Túrkeve                         www.turkevi.hu

Tours                                                                                      www.nimfea.hu

Körös-Maros National Park                                                               kmnpi.hu