"We came up with the idea of having customers pick our table fruit themselves during the autumn season from September to October. The idea was incredibly well received."explains the Weissensteiner family. At Apfelland in the Gesäuse, guests can choose their own fruit without much trouble, making it the only Styrian organic fruit farm to offer apple sales in this way. Second place went to X'eistee - the iced tea from the Gesäuse - from Sandra and Gerhard Stangl, the herb mountain farmers from Landl: "All ingredients come from the farm and the entire production chain is taken care of by us - including climate-neutral delivery by e-car." Bronze was awarded to the NaturparkResort Alte Schule Hieflau of Landl Infrastruktur Entwicklungs KG. Former classrooms of the old school in Hieflau were converted into flats and thus a 100-year-old building can continue to be used regionally and sustainably. The Ardning primary school produced and performed its own musical on the theme of "National Park and Climate Protection", with everything from the lyrics to the costumes coming from the school itself.
The presentation of the Gesäuse Innovation Award was made directly at the award winners' homes in compliance with Covid-19 security measures. Provincial Councillor and jury member Ursula Lackner congratulates the winners via video message: "Especially in times when environmental degradation and climate change are becoming ever greater problems, they show that sustainability is possible. She describes the diverse submissions with "Putting regionality and sustainability at the forefront while thinking innovatively and breaking new ground"..
The evaluation of the submitted projects was carried out by a 9-member expert jury consisting of representatives from politics and business, institutions in the region and industry representatives of the Gesäuse partners. "The jury evaluation was difficult for me to decide, because each idea was unique and prepared with a lot of heart and soul. For me, every participant is a winner!"explains Member of the Provincial Parliament and jury member Armin Forstner, who has also taken over the sponsorship of the Gesäuse Innovation Award.
Four criteria were important for the assessment: degree of innovation, economic or social relevance, regional relevance and sustainability. Private individuals, companies, associations and schools based in the Gesäuse tourism region were eligible to apply for the Innovation Award - regardless of whether they were Gesäuse partner companies or not. It is important that the innovation has an impact within the region.
The Gesäuse Partners - these are the joint partner businesses of the Gesäuse National Park and the Steirische Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark, which joined forces three years ago under the umbrella of the Gesäuse Tourism Region. The National Park and the Nature and Geopark take on the role of value preservers, while the tourism association is in charge of marketing the cooperation. The prize money and the award itself come from the partner network.
Enquiries and contact.
Stefanie Weissensteiner, MA
Press and PR
m: +43 664 101 52 37
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Caption: The winners of the 2nd Gesäuse Innovation Award 2020
1st place: "Apfelland im Gesäuse", Genussmosthof Veitlbauer, f.l.t.r. Susanne, Florian, Anna, Christian and Julia Weissensteiner
2nd place: "X'eistee Bio", Kräuterbergbauer Stangl, Sandra and Gerhard Stangl
3rd place: "NaturparkResort Alte Schule Hieflau", Landl Infrastruktur Entwicklungs KG, Andre-as Danner