Until recently, hidden behind Debrecen Zoo was Debrecen’s largest, and safest playground, however, its aging worn-out facilities were a far cry from Budapest’s City Park Playground, which if you have ever visited it, is impressive. It caused quite some playground envy for families in Debrecen. The good news is that Debrecen’s biggest playground is currently being entirely re-developed, expanded, and renamed as ‘Blue Island’, to equal or even outdo Budapest’s best, and located right next to it will be the future site of the National Natural History Museum.
On-site, at the proposed location, currently a disused stadium ground, a press conference was held on the 7th of January 2022, László Papp said that the government is providing HUF 2.4 billion in funding to enable the city to carry out the preparatory works necessary for the realization of the Natural History Museum.
The mayor said that they believe that the National Natural History Museum has an unrivaled opportunity to be surrounded by a natural, wooded environment and benefit from a direct link with the zoo. It is also close to the Főnix Aréna that can accommodate a significant parking demand even with bus parking, so there is no need to bring traffic into the forest area. The location is easily accessible from the main road 4, by public transport. Several buildings of the University of Debrecen are nearby.
Of course, the new playground will surely be one of the biggest draws to the area for children and families, with just a short walk to either the new Museum or the Zoo and retro theme park, which also makes it a great site for the museum.
The Mayor added that the proximity of the universities and university campuses was also an important factor in the proposal for the Natural History Museum.
Member of Parliament Lajos Kósa said that moving the Natural History Museum to Debrecen has been on the agenda for a long time. He added that the government has already committed itself to building and to host the Museum of Natural History in Debrecen.
The MP stressed that the first consideration was to build a natural history theme park rather than a traditional museum. He added that another very important aspect was tourism. Four thousand people work in tourism in Debrecen, and a hotel construction program is underway in the city, and the museum could be a very important tourist attraction.
Lajos Kósa also referred to the situation of education and transport infrastructure. Debrecen has excellent access by air, rail, and highway access. He stressed that the role of the Natural History Museum must be kept, and Debrecen has everything it takes to do this.