The enchanted forest awakens
The origins in the "Welcome Center" in Ernen
The idea originated in the former "Welcome Center" in Ernen. Ingrid Schmid Birri and Sandra Briw were looking for something for families with children. This gave rise to the idea of setting up an adventure playground on the Wasen. Ingrid Schmid Birri explains: "Together with Andreas Weissen and the kindergarten teacher Judith Clausen, we explored the forest on the Wasen and discovered lots of exciting things; it was an interesting experience for us adults too."
The establishment of the Magic Forest Foundation
In order to finance the playground, a foundation was set up with the aim of creating a place in a natural environment where children can live out their urge to move, develop their imagination and creativity and thus promote their cognitive, emotional and social skills. "The Magic Forest was to be a place where children could simply be children," recalls Ingrid Schmid Birri. "At a time when there is less and less space to play, this is hugely important!"
Nature as a playground
Construction of the enchanted forest with nature as the main attraction
In 2007, the time had come. The adventure playground was built with the active support of the local population, guests, businesses and numerous institutions. Only a limited amount of play equipment adapted to the landscape was deliberately built. The actual playground was to be nature with its endless possibilities. The children should also play with natural materials such as pine cones, branches, stones and water.
The mysterious world of "Gogwärgji" Schorsch
A special highlight: "Gogwärgji" Schorsch's letterbox
"Gogwärgji" Schorsch's letterbox is also popular with the children. Here the children can leave a letter or a message for the resident of the enchanted forest, who is never seen. "For years, I was the Schorsch who answered the children's letters," recalls Sandra Briw. "Schorsch received around 1000 letters every summer, and I always had to invent a new story as to why the dwarf wasn't there...".
Zauberwald success story: 10 years and not a bit quiet
Popular and lively
Ten years after it was founded, the Enchanted Forest is still very popular and is full of life on nice days. Sandra Briw shares her joy: "It's great to see that the Enchanted Forest is still so successful after 10 years."
Diverse experiences in the enchanted forest
The enchanted forest offers 20 varied stations to play and discover. Children can use the cone track, swing on the swing tree, climb the wooden deer and explore the gorge trail. There is also the alphorn slide, the climbing trail, the wooden xylophone, the suspension bridge and the barefoot path.
Community support and visions for the future
Today, the Magic Forest is managed by the Binntal Landscape Park Tourism Association and can count on generous financial support from the municipality of Ernen. "The aim of the foundation remains the same as when it was founded," says Foundation Board President Frank Wenger: "We want to bring children closer to nature and teach them how to treat nature with care, such as not leaving any waste lying around."