A new, electronic access control system was launched at Lake Saint Anna at the end of last year. The owner of the nature reserve, the Lázárfalva Saint Anna Compossessoratus, together with the Pro Szent Anna Association, wants to keep the past values of the lake for the people in a way that is also taking into consideration we are living in the 21st century. Because of this, further developments are planned by the lake and the Mohos Peat-Bog, plans described in detail by Elek Levente Dósa, director of the Pro Szent Anna Association:
The overall goal is to create a modern touristic infrastructure while also taking into consideration the preservation of the nature reserve, and focusing on the environmental education as well. The new access control system is already part of this concept and after crossing the new barriers, permanent and seasonal parking spaces will be waiting for the 150-200 thousand visitors per year. Visitor’s center, buffet, souvenir shop, new guest house and a new camp site will be also available for tourists and different educational trails with viewpoints will be created between the craters. According to Dósa, the ban of swimming and picnicking at the shore of the lake needs to be maintained, however for the second activity another option will be available in the near future, when a so called “Székely Wellness Centre with tub and sauna”, will be finished up on the ridge.
“Our development plan also includes the renovation of the guest house. The old building will turn into a modern catering facility, having both accommodations and a restaurant in it, for which there is a high demand”, Dósa said. And because “many people do not even know actually why Lake Saint Anna and the Mohos Peat-Bog are so valuable” they also want to create a visitor’s center which would provide a so called “edutainment” service for tourists about the area.
After the official handover of the new barriers István Mihály, representative of the Hargita County Environment Agency gave a presentation with their latest measurement results about the state of the lake. These new measurements were actually decided after they compared some new aerial photographs with a military map from the ’60-s and realized that the size of the lake basically hasn’t changed during the past five decades. The good news is that the results of their measurements also proved that “the lake is not shrinking as fast as it was predicted earlier”, and that “it is much more stable and will exist much longer as we had thought before, based previous studies”.
Lake Saint Anna is the only crater lake in Romania, formed some 10,000 years ago. It has an area of 220,000 m².
Title image: Lake Saint Anna in winter time and one of the new electronic barriers. (Original photo of the lake: Elek Levente Dósa)