Natural Park at the Prelát Spring
The park at Prelát Spring has many activities, especially for children. Here you can have a barbecue or try the zip wire, climbing frames, water attractions and other fun things to do.
Years ago at the edge of Mariánské Lázně, in a spot where the park leads into the forest, rose the Prelat Spring which was accessible in a spa pavilion for the public. It's from this spring that this little piece of nature gets its name.
In the past a special wooden 'indian village' for children was created - however, over time this was damaged by vandals and was eventually demolished. In its place a chidren's playground was erected that included a barbecue site, swings, horizontal bars and small wooden huts in the shape of tee-pees. Over time this also became the target of vandals and so a wooden tower was built with a small hut on the top and benches inside. This too deteriorated over the subsequent years and even the spring in the pavilion stopped flowing. Nevertheless, this park area continued to attract children and adults who were out walking and was a place where they could sit by the fire and let their children play. This place continued to attract local people and many popular sporting, entertaining and children's activities (like 'Indian Day' or 'Fairy Tale Forest') took place there.
Civic Association 'Hravý pramen'
Even before the park appeared this was a truly picturesque meadow through which a little creek full of granite rocks flows and one which attracted people. Two small ponds completed the magic and beauty of this spot and in the autumn of 2004, the civic association 'Hravý Pramen' (Playful Spring) was founded with the goal of regenerating the natural park around the Prelat Spring. Eventually this group oversaw the building of a children's playground there and continued the tradition of this place being an enjoyable spot for people to spend some of their free time. The association began putting together a plan for creating a more substantial park and involved children from the schools, kindergartens and art clubs in Mariánské Lázně in the process. They held a competition in which kids could draw their ideas of the kind of things they thought the park should contain and some designed models showing their ideas for the park. These ideas were considered and taken into consideration and used in the creation of the new playground. The 'Hravý Pramen' civic association is made up of Alena Doležalová, Pavel Graca, and Miroslav Štěpánek.
Creation of the playground
The first step was to clean up the site, the ponds and creek and have large stones moved to the park. Gradually, attractions for children were added, including decorative elements from natural materials that respected the unique nature of the Prelat Spring park environment. The children's attractions subsequently created in the park were, a zip wire, swings, climbimg frames, a rope assault course, a locomotive made of logs, an indian totem pole, a sand pit, a small complex water world, a mill wheel, cars made of logs and the wooden tower was changed into a climbing pyramid with a slide. An amphitheatre was also built from logs, then a clay cave and a wooden hiding place in the shape of a bear and finally a prospectors log cabin, (Jack London style) and several fireplaces and benches. Everything was initially created just from local natural materials such as wood from the surrounding forest wood, then ropes were added, then the stones and eventually metal structures. These attractions and decorative elements in the park were mostly created and arranged by members of the 'Hravý Pramen' civic association. These pieces of work were mostly funded by the town of Mariánské Lázně. Donations and gifts of materials, money and physical work were given by friends and supporters of the park at Prelat Spring the children themselves lent a hand. Eventually the spring was once again made accessible to the public and now flows from a hand carved wooden statue of a monk close to the pavilion. The park is also the starting point of an educational trail that meanders through the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Operation of the park
Today the playground is operated by the Správa Městských sportovišť p.o. of Mariánské Lázně