About the region
The communes within the Local Action Group operating between the Oder and the Bóbr rivers are located on the banks of the main rivers of the southern part of the Lubusz Voivodeship (or in close proximity of the rivers), surrounding the city of Zielona Góra from three sides. The character of the region is defined by the presence of a regional urban centre and the vast rural areas.
The history and, more importantly, the natural values of the lands between the Oder and the Bóbr rivers make this region an excellent tourist destination, offering attractions that are unique not only on the regional, but also national level. These include historical buildings in different architectural styles and preservation status, natural attractions, places of worship and military installations. To name just a few, there are the “Dancing Pines” natural monument (commune of Bojadła), the former munitions factory in Krzystkowice (commune of N Bobrzański), the water dock in Cigacice and the cruises on the Oder on a Medieval riverboat, known as “galar” (commune of Sulechów), the Protected Landscape Area of Rynny Obrzycko-Obrzańskie (partially located in the commune of Kolsko), the Lubusz Military Museum in Drzonów and the Middle Oder Archaeological Museum in Świdnica (commune of Świdnica), and the numerous palaces, for instance in Trzebiechów and Zabór.
Hiking, cycling and nordic walking routes, and kayak trails are marked out across the entire region.
The land stretching along the Oder and Bóbr rivers is not just scenic landscapes and beautiful vistas, but also plenty of architectural monuments and countless military facilities dating back to World War II and much earlier times, making the region the perfect destination for tourists interested in history. The local tourist routes take the guests to various military installations and fortifications, and there is also the Middle Oder Palaces and Parks Trail.
In recent years, vineyards have become a major tourist attraction of the region. This is caused by the revival of the winemaking traditions and the growing popularity of wine tourism, also known as enotourism. Currently, the most widely recognised regional wine-related tourist product is the Lubusz Trail of Wine and Mead. In 2015, the Trail included 38 vineyards, 10 of which were located in the communes belonging to the Local Action Group “Między Odrą a Bobrem”. Those vineyards were: Marcus in the commune of Nowogród Bobrzański, Stara Winna Góra, Cantina, Mozów in the commune of Sulecjów, Cosel, Winnica Świętej Jadwigi in the commune of Świdnica, Miłosz, Ingrid, Na Leśnej Polanie in the commune of Zabór, and Lubuskie Centrum Winiarstwa in Zabór. Wine- and mead-making, and beekeeping facilities can be found in all eight communes forming the Local Action Group.
About the association
The Local Action Group “Między Odrą a Bobrem” was founded in 2008. The LAG operates in eight communes in the Lubusz Voivodeship: Zabór, Trzebiechów, Bojadła, Sulechów, Kolsko, Świdnica, Nowogród Bobrzański and Czerwieńsk. Aside from the commune of Kolsko, which is a part of the neighbouring Nowa Sól district, all of the communes in the Group belong to Zielona Góra district. The area of the Local Action Group is concentrated around the administrative centre of the Voivodeship, the city of Zielona Góra.
Under the previous EU financial framework, the Local Action Group received 229 grants worth PLN 9.3 million in total, awarded in 18 competitions.
Under the new financial framework (2014–2020), the LAG has conducted 8 calls for applications and secured 56 grants worth over PLN 6.1 million.
The Local Action Group “Między Odrą a Bobrem” is a part of the public funds distribution system (grants) under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, and the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. The LAG handles the applications for funding of activities related to the development of tourism and fostering entrepreneurship in rural areas. The Local Action Group’s success story includes the creation of the community integration centres in the rural areas, and developing the tourist and recreational infrastructure which serves both the tourists and the local citizens. The LAG has also succeeded in fostering local entrepreneurship, creating new businesses and growing existing ones.
The main objectives of the Local Development Strategy for 2007-2013 included stimulating the social and economic activity of the local citizens, supporting and assisting civic and business initiatives, acquiring new knowledge and skills, and improving the attractiveness of the region to tourists by fostering the growth of tourism-related businesses.
The Local Action Group “Między Odrą a Bobrem” also has experience in trans-regional projects - in 2012, together with the Local Action Group “Stowarzyszenie Kraina Lasów i Jezior”, the project titled “Winnice - Edukacja - Reaktywacja (Vineyards - Education - Reactivation)” was implemented as part of the action “Implementation of cooperation projects” under the Rural Development Programme 2007–2013 (a grant was awarded by the authorities of the Lubusz Voivodeship). The general objective of the project was defined as “the revival of winemaking traditions by promoting the cultivation of grapevines.”
The framework agreement for the implementation of the objectives of the Local Development Strategy for 2016-2020 worth PLN 7,395,000, is financed by the European Fund for Rural Development. The LDS objectives for the 2016–2020 perspective include employing natural resources and local potential to develop various forms of tourism, employing the increasing engagement of the local citizens in the matters of civil society and public life, fostering the business activity on the areas covered by the LDS by creating and growing small and medium enterprises, countering social exclusion related to the difficulties with accessing the local job market and public services, including education, healthcare, culture, sports and recreation.
The Local Action Group is not limiting itself to using the acquired funds to achieve its objectives, but also actively looks for other sources of funding and implements other projects, such as “Startuj z FIO!” (Start with CIF) under the Civil Initiatives Fund Programme 2017 (a total of 68 micro-grants were awarded worth PLN 370,000). The Local Action Group was also a partner in the project “Wsparcie na Starcie - tworzenie nowych i trwalych miejsc pracy” (The Start-up Help - creating new and sustainable jobs) implemented under the Regional Operational Programme of the Greater Poland Voivodeship for 2017-2019 (the grant was worth PLN 4,032,111.20) and its role included consulting and providing mentorship and support to new businesses, creating new jobs by fostering the micro-entities sector, preparing 70 unemployed and persons outside the working force for setting up their own businesses, awarding grants (to 65 people) for starting up a business, providing bridging support for the first 12 months of business activity in the form of consulting, mentoring and refunding some of the expenses. The outcome of the project will be the setting up of 65 micro-entities which will conduct business activity for at least 12 months. “Startuj z FIO! - Nowy początek” (Start with CIF - A new beginning) under the Civil Initiatives Fund Programme 2018 (the 2018/2019 2-year edition): awarding micro-grants to new NGOs and informal groups in the Lubusz Voivodeship. Micro-project titled “Moja przyjaciółka pszczółka” (My friend the little bee): a PLN 1,500 grant from the Ecological Association EKO-UNIA. “Zielone budownictwo w lubuskiej wsi” (Environmentally friendly construction in the rural areas of the Lubusz region” (2018): a series of workshops on natural timber construction, making thermal insulations with pressed straw cubes, and using clay- and lime-based plasters (the grant was worth PLN 49,180.95).
Over the 10 years of its operation and implementing projects and initiatives, the Local Action Group has gained the experience necessary to efficiently manage its organisation and work for the local community. The projects completed by the LAG have increased the entrepreneurship in rural areas, improved the quality of life of the citizens of the communes belonging to the LAG, and contributed to the growth of tourism and the preservation of the historical heritage of the region.