REPAIRING the Horský Park gallery.
Procházka, 67, is one of the lucky people who have managed to make a profession of their passion. He is the head of the Horský park (Forest Park) foundation and the mastermind behind all its cultural activities. He runs the park's gallery, arranges open-air concerts and activities for children. Each of these efforts serve the overall goal - increasing support for preserving the park among visitors and the general public.
"People's primary motive in visiting us is to relax. Once they are relaxed they are open to new ideas, such as the environmental and ethical questions we try to present," Procházka says.
The Horský park foundation, which uses volunteers and raises its money from grants and sponsors, is dedicated to the protection of the park and its surroundings. The foundation holds drives to plant trees, re-route traffic and clean up the forest.
For Procházka, the preservation of Horský park from real estate developers has been a matter of the heart. He says he has nightmares about "the park being sold to private investors for construction lots, and the guest house being turned into a pub with slot machines". He and his wife have fought such bad dreams by making the park a cultural and spiritual meeting place for locals.
Horský park has become a popular destination for families with children. Besides a playground, a pony and a goat, which attract the attention of the youngest visitors, whole families can participate in other events.
KAMIL Procházka and Laura.
Established as a city forest park in the 1870's, the area is today virtually the only green oasis remaining in the capital. The atmosphere is that of a family business - the horáreň (forester's lodge), which serves as a café and is run by Procházka's wife, is also the foundation's office, where Procházka spends his days.
Nature protection has always been a major concern for the couple. During the late 1980's they became involved in the movement 'Bratislava nahlas' (Bratislava Aloud), which fought the indifference of the communist regime to environmental issues.
But since 1994, when the Horský park foundation was founded, caring for nature has become the couple's full time job. Although they live in the neighbourhood of the park, one gets the impression the horáreň is their first rather than second home.
The horáreň in Horský park is at Lesná Street, close to the Slavín monument area. The gallery and garden are open from 9:00 to 21:00 daily, the café from 11:00 to 21:00 Sun, 14:00 to 21:00 Wed-Sat. For further information visit www.horaren.sk, or call 02/5478-9050.
5. Aug 2002 at 0:00 | Saša Petrášová