Kontyvirág Environmental Education Centre (KEEC) is one of two permanent residential education centres operated by the Kiskunság National Park Directorate.
Originally built in the sixties as a holiday resort and converted over to an open-air school in 2006, the centre is used mainly for environmental education in a residential setting for school groups but it is also available to other groups, when KEEC is not being used for outdoor education.
Kontyvirág EEC is situated in the centre of Hungary close to the River Tisza, within the boundaries of the Kiskunság National Park (KNP). KNP, as a mosaic-like national park, consists of nine separate units out of which Tőserdő is the smallest one. Tőserdő is an old riparian forest in the floodplain of River Tisza dominated by poplars in association with oak, ash and willows.
Riparian habitats once covered huge areas along European rivers, but natural streamside vegetation has almost disappeared in the last century. Tőserdő and the connecting Alpár-meadow preserve remnants of this once-glorious landscape with oxbow lakes, marshes, reedbeds, willow shrubs, swamp woodlands and meadows providing important habitats for a wide range of plants and animals.
Within walking distance from the EEC is the Tőserdő recreation area with playgrounds, bath, oxbow lake, beach, restaurants and pubs. Shops are in a short drive away in Lakitelek.
The Centre, which is fully centrally heated, can accommodate up to 44 people in ten rooms. The entrance area of the house doubles as both dining hall and common room. The classroom equipped with tables, chairs, corkboards and dry-erase board is situated on the upper storey.
The 1 acre fenced park-like grounds include two outdoor pavilions, outdoor oven, fireplaces for campfire and outdoor cooking, herb garden, sand-pit.
There are six bunk bedded six person en-suite rooms on the upper storey, and two or three bedded en-suite rooms on the groundfloor. Guests can either bring their own sleeping bags or linens (pillows and blankets are provided), or they can rent a complete set of linens for their stay.
3 meals a day are provided and delivered to the centre by Tiszatáj Restaurant in Tiszaalpár. The restaurant will make every effort to accommodate special dietary needs or food restrictions when they are brought to our attention well in advance of your group's arrival. Cutlery and crockery are provided.
The kitchen is not available for guests out of food safety regulations, but there is a kitchenette suitable for making tea, coffee and cooking simple dishes. Self-catering is not possible for groups. The centre is equipped with fridge, kettle, microwave and coffee facilities.
There are 3 permanent staff working in the EEC. The caretaker living permanently in the centre is responsible for normal function of the centre facilities. The centre instructor plans education programs, arranges activities and keep in contact with group leaders before their visit. At last but not at least there is an employee who clears up the building before arrival and after departure and does the kitchen work.
The centre is cleaned and checked before each group comes in, but cleaner does not come in when the group is in residence. Visiting groups are expected to keep the centre building and grounds clean and tidy, to lay the tables, serve their groups food and clear tables during their stay. There are brooms, pans, mop sets and cleaning cloths. Washing up is done by the kitchen staff.
Due to Health and Safety Regulations cleaning products are not provided. Groups must provide drying cloths and toilet paper.
The following activities can be instructed and led by the centre instructor for groups from abroad in English:
- Biking tour
- Various arts and crafts activities
Recreational opportunities include:
- 6 4-person canoes together with life vests and paddles
- 27 mountain bikes
- 3.5 km long nature trail
Suggested clothing and equipment list:
- Underwear, several pairs of socks, T-shirts, trousers, jumpers, night clothes
- Sturdy footwear
- toilet articles
- Small rucksack
- Unbreakable drinks container
- Cap / Sun hat and sun cream
- footwear for indoor use
- mosquito repellent
- pen and writing paper
Optional items: flashlight, wellingtons, board games, swimming suit
Useful information: Each group must have a competent leader in charge to liaise with the centre staff.
- On your arrival group will be met by centre staff and keys will be left. Staff will talk to the group about centre information and do a fire drill.
- Group leader will be asked to check the building. If you are not satisfied with the condition of the centre please bring it to the attention of the centre staff immediately.
- Any relevant medical information eg Diabetics, Epileptics or Asthmatics must be submitted to the centre on arrival.
It is the leader's responsibility to:
- make their own travel arrangements,
- supervise students at all times,
- ensure spare time activities for the students if the centre is not requested to provide activity,
- ensure the centre is secure at night and when you go out;
- ensure that group members understand and follow KEEC rules and procedures;
- maintain the building in a clean condition;
- regulate group behaviour during activity sessions taken by the centre instructor;
- ensure that each student has a medical certificate;
- deal with group medicine and first aid requirements (first aid kit is available in the centre).
Please let the caretaker or the instructor know if any problems or defects occur.
- Smoking is not allowed inside the building.
- The group is responsible for the cost of repairs for any damage caused to centre equipment and/or property caused by members of that group.
- The KEEC takes no responsibility for the loss or damage to personal property.
- The KEEC is unequipped with TV, computer facilities, internet or wireless service. Cell phone service is quite weak at the centre area.
Between April and October:
3000 Ft / night + 850 Ft additional charge for laundry if bed linen is rented
Between November and March:
3500 Ft / night + 850 Ft additional charge for laundry if bed linen is rented
Catering: 1600 Ft / day (three meal)
bike: 700 Ft / day
canoe: 1000 Ft / person / day
Réka Bártol, centre instructor
Ticks are small, mite-like animals commonly found in our fields and forests. They are parasites, feeding upon the blood of other animals (rabbit, deer, dog, or you!). Because
ticks carry diseases, many people have become concerned about going outdoors and getting a tick bite. Fortunately, only a small percentage of ticks carry diseases and most
experts agree that a tick needs to stay lodged for over 24 hours in order to transmit the
disease. With care you can watch out and find the ticks before they get under your skin.
Take care when going through tick habitat.
Adult ticks climb up onto the tips of grasses in search of their host. Any time you go off
of the trails, especially through grassy fields or lie down on the ground, you are more likely to come into contact with ticks.
Wear protective clothing.
Wearing a hat, long-sleeve shirt and long pants tucked into socks help deter ticks. Insect
repellents may also help discourage mosquitoes and ticks.
Be vigilant - do a daily tick check. Strip down and search all those places that ticks love
to hide: in your hair, under your arms, between your legs, behind the knees, and even in
your belly button.
If a tick does bore in, it's important to remove it promptly and properly ? by an adult.
Use a pair of fine-point tweezers. Grasp the tick as close as possible to the point of attachment and slowly and gently pull until your skin starts to lift. Keep up the gentle
pressure until the tick comes loose. Don't twist or jerk. After you remove the tick, use antiseptic on the wound and wash your hands and tools. Keep an eye on the wound area
for a few weeks. A circular rash that looks like a target or bull's eye is a telltale sign of Lyme, but it may take awhile to emerge. Be alert for flue-like symptoms - including fever, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, headaches and swollen glands - which often occur during the first stage of the disease. If you suspect you've been exposed to Lyme or any other tick-borne disease, see your doctor immediately. Early treatment with antibiotics usually eliminates lyme disease entirely.
Cím: Kontyvirág Erdei Iskola,
Lakitelek-Tőserdő, Szikra 65/a
Levelezési cím: Kiskunsági Nemzeti Park Igazgatóság
6000 Kecskemét, Liszt F. u. 19.
telefon: Filotás Zoltán +36 30 553 8764