This year’s office outing was wet and chilly. We first travelled by train to Seelow-Gusow (Märkisch-Oderland district) in eastern Brandenburg. Our local coach driver provided us with anecdotes about the surrounding villages and landscape during the subsequent drive into the Oderbruch.
The Oderbruch, which was formed during the ice age, is almost 60 km long and 12 to 20 km wide and lies only 2 to 14 m above sea level. Since it was regularly flooded by the Oder River, for a long time it was mainly inhabited by fishermen. It was not until the mid-18th century that the area was made arable (“Friderizian drainage”) through large-scale dyke construction, the shifting of the main flow of the Oder towards the east, and the construction of drainage ditches and pumping stations. In the course of this, Frederick the Great settled colonists from non-Prussian Germany, as well as from Switzerland, Austria and Poland, who helped shape the language, culture and way of life in the Oderbruch.
FJP is currently working more intensively on this region. Since 2022, our office has been preparing the landscape framework plan for the district of Märkisch-Oderland. Among other things, it deals with the recording of the potential and problems for the protected goods in the Oderbruch and develops appropriate measures for the protection, maintenance and development of nature and landscape.
We were able to get to know part of today’s river landscapes of the Oderbruch during a trip on the Old Oder near Quappendorf. After a delicious breakfast, the intrepid majority of the FJP team set off in pairs in kayaks for the river trip – despite the onset of rain. The rest preferred the covered and dry raft. The latter, with its slow speed, contributed to the pleasant deceleration of the passengers and the enjoyment of the landscape. The barbecue buffet that followed provided the necessary warmth and refreshment. Unfortunately, the rain did not let up. Therefore, we had to abandon our plan to walk around Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Molkenhaus near Neuhardenberg. So we set off for home on this damp and cheerful office excursion, knowing that another visit to the Oder would be worthwhile.