New sport-recreational facilities on the river Gacka
Opening ceremony of the recreational park along the river Gacka
Since its beginning, the project has successfully implemented a number of activities that transformed the Gacka valley into a desirable tourist destination. Rich natural and cultural heritage of Gacka valley nowadays plays a more prominent role on the Croatian tourist map and guarantees good prospects for the economic development of the area. Alongside the City of Otočac, several local counterparts also contributed to the project: Croatian Chamber of Economy - County Chamber Otočac, Otočac Tourist Board, Bicycle Club "Barkan" from Otočac and sport-fishing association "Gacka".
Recreational park along the river band of Gacka is the latest activity in the tourist branding of the area. Construction of the park was launched on the initiative of the City of Otočac and city Prevention Council so as to ensure quality recreational facilities and a safe area for all citizens of Otočac and their guests to sojourn in an open space, with a particular emphasis on young people and their leisure time. Recreational park encourages and promotes a healthy sporting lifestyle and the advantage of this "open space gym fitness" is the workout in the nature. In addition to the recreational facilities, the park's importance also lays in the revitalization of the almost forgotten northern branch of Gacka River. The total value of the project is 295,000.00 HRK, out of which UNDP provided 100,000.00 HRK for the procurement of equipment and the rest of the funds for construction and landscaping along the river were ensured by the City of Otočac.
Recreational park encourages and promotes a healthy sporting lifestyle and the advantage of this "open space gym fitness" is the workout in the nature
On this occasion the Mayor of the City of Otočac, Mario Barković said: "I am pleased to say that the project "Every Drop Matters" supported and articulated the aspirations of the City of Otočac and its people to preserve and enrich the natural and aesthetic value of the river Gacka with constant and continuous commitment. Series of successful project activities on Gacka River contributed to the preservation of natural and ecological harmony of this area." He also added that among other results of the project this recreational park adds to the range of thriving sporting and recreational facilities along the river Gacka.
"When the project started nearly 4 years ago, hardly anyone expected it to grow to this magnitude. Nearly 2 million HRK was invested in 14 different activities, alongside to the participation of a large number of partners from Gacka Valley and beyond. Today we can say that Otočac and the rest of Gacka Valley occupy an important place on the Croatian tourist map and if we managed to contribute to it with this project in any way, then our presence in this beautiful region is indeed justified", UN coordinator and UNDP resident representative in the Republic of Croatia Louisa Vinton pointed out in her address.
The mayor of the City of Otočac, Mario Barković, is showing how to use fitness facilities in recreational park to UNDP RR Louisa Vinton and to Sandro Baričević from Cola Cola Company
Within Regional Partnership Initiative for water conservation "Preserve and Revive the River - Every Drop Matters", launched by the UNDP and The Coca-Cola Company, Croatia was chosen as one of four countries (along with Turkey, Kazakhstan and Romania) who participated in pilot phase of the project. Sandro Baričević, Public Affairs and Communications Director of Coca-Cola's Alpe-Adria Region said on the occasion: "We are proud to be included in the project "Every Drop Matters - Gacka River", part of which is today's opening of the recreational park. We wanted to demonstrate how the cooperation of public and private sector can not only protect water as one of the most important natural resources, but also encourage community development through eco-tourism and promoting of local products. We are extremely grateful for the support of local community and considerable fieldwork achievements with our partner UNDP and we hope that we made Gacka River and the valley widely recognizable." ¸
"Every Drop Matters - River Gacka" project invested 1,830,000.00 HRK in Gacka valley, but the UNDP's activities in the region will carry on. New activities are already in preparation, and first in the series is a project that develops knowledge and skills for sustainable forest management that will be implemented in partnership with the Otočac's High School.