Groundbreaking ceremony for Hellabrunn's Mill Village

On Friday, 14 July 2017, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Hellabrunn Zoo to mark the launch of construction work for the new Mill Village. The five ceremonial spades were held by Christine Strobl, Mayor and Chairman of the supervisory board, Rasem Baban, zoo director, Gabriele Nellissen, Head of Sponsorship and Event Management at Stadtsparkasse München bank, Martin Liebhäuser, Vice Chairman of the non-profit Edith Haberland-Wagner Foundation and Kieran Stanley, zoo architect at Dan Pearlman.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Carl Baumgartner

After the prior demolition of the old buildings and stables on the site, there is now nothing left of the former Children's Zoo. Instead, with a little imagination those invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony were able to envisage the planned Mill Village, which was designed by the Berlin architectural firm Dan Pearlman and is expected to be completed in two years. A pavilion on the site provided guests with information about the project, including illustrations of the Bavarian farming village to be built, a large map of the planned site and information on the future residents, providing an almost tangible experience of what the future Mill Village would hold.

Covering an area of just over 23,000 m², the buildings and stables of the village will be modelled on the traditional farmhouses of rural Bavaria. The result will be a village landscape within the zoo, which will be inhabited by endangered domestic species such as Murnau-Werdenfels cattle, Bavarian landrace geese, Girgentana goats and Sulmtaler chicken. The Mill Village will be part of the zoo's Europe geozone.

Furthermore, upon completion of the second construction phase, the Zoo School will move into the Mill Village. Every year countless classes from Munich and the surrounding area visit the Zoo School at Hellabrunn as an extracurricular learning activity. The school children invariably find the visit very exciting, but also informative. "The construction of a new, state-of-the-art Zoo School right in the heart of the Mill Village ensures close proximity to the farm animals and offers entirely new opportunities for hands-on lessons and direct contact with animals," says Christine Strobl, Mayor and Chairman of Hellabrunn Zoo. "But there will also be educational programmes for adults and toddlers." The educational content will be designed to reach various age groups. For example, there will be several small exhibitions and a variety of hands-on learning stations that invite visitors to explore.

"With the Mill Village, Hellabrunn Zoo will break new ground by creating a unique zoo education centre," says zoo director Rasem Baban. "We will build the school here in the heart of the zoo, which will invite visitors to learn about regional biodiversity through various educational formats. The Mill Village at Hellabrunn will present visitors with questions such as How did wild animals become pets? Why are many domesticated species threatened with extinction? And why is it so important to save them? And they will also be able to find the answers here."

After receiving financial support for the renovation of the Orangutan House and the construction of the Giraffe Savannah, Hellabrunn Zoo was again able to rely on its long-standing partnership with Stadtsparkasse München for sponsorship of the construction of the Mill Village. "We are pleased that we are able to support the zoo once again with this exciting and innovative construction project. Hellabrunn and Stadtsparkasse München have a long and successful partnership that we hope to continue with the Mill Village," says Gabriele Nellissen, Head of Sponsorship and Event Management at Stadtsparkasse München.

The realisation of the Zoo School has been made possible by the generous support of the non-profit Edith Haberland-Wagner Foundation. "The reason why we at Edith Haberland-Wagner Foundation are committed to raising awareness for respect for mankind, nature and wildlife is as follows: As the climate conference has once again shown, it is already one minute to midnight for our earth," says Vice Chairman Martin Liebhäuser. "The more people take a conscious approach to conserving the resources we use in our daily lives, beginning with the small things - e.g. use biodegradable detergents, separate household waste, refrain from unnecessary energy and water consumption, do not purchase disposable plastic bags, but instead always carry a reusable shopping bag with you, etc. - the more positive the impact for our environment and therefore ourselves.

This is the very reason we are so committed to providing targeted educational programmes in the form of lectures and workshops for kindergartens, schools, parents and the young at heart, in the hope that this will raise more awareness for the environment. And what better way to educate people, in particular the children (and thus their parents and grandparents) who are always keen to explore and learn everything, than through the popular Hellabrunn Zoo? If each of us plays our small part every day in protecting our environment, then our world will be a much healthier and more liveable place. And our children will have an opportunity to grow up in a better world. Perhaps it is not too late!

Finally, I would like to thank all loyal Augustiner beer lovers. 50% of the Augustiner brewery is owned by the Edith Haberland-Wagner Foundation and through your support we at the Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation are able to sponsor wonderful and exciting projects such as this. We are aware of our social responsibility and as such are committed to sponsoring children, the environment, education, sport, monuments and much more, in our effort to do our part to make our environment and our society more liveable and to contribute to a better future."

The Mill Village was designed by the internationally-known Berlin architectural firm Dan Pearlman. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to highlight the issue of biodiversity through our design of the Mill Village. The project stands out for its family-friendly appeal, its authenticity and the didactic theme which is been presented in many different ways. I am sure that the Mill Village will be a place of discovery," says Kieran Stanley, the founder and creative director.

Work on the first construction phase of the Mühlendorf will start immediately. It will include stables for rabbits, ponies and donkeys as well as the mill with a fish hatchery, a farm shop and farm garden. The completion of this phase is planned for summer of 2018. Upon completion of the entire project, the Mill Village with the Zoo School as the centerpiece is expected to be opened in summer 2019.

About the Edith Haberland-Wagner Foundation:
The Edith-Haberland-Wagner Foundation is committed to preserving the Augustiner brewery and the protection of its workforce. The foundation also aims to be a positive force in the community through a wide range of non-profit activities. These include the preservation of customs and traditions, education and training, environmental and rural landscape conservation, as well as charitable causes, which directly provide selfless support for people.

The foundation pursues sustainable, long-term management with a high standard of quality. To date, it has sponsored a variety of different projects.