In the middle of the parkland of the Wuhlheide lies the environmental and meeting centre Fuchsbau. The meeting point for children, young people, young families and the disabled offers 75 beds and is ideally suited for stays of several days for groups from day care centres, primary schools and associations. Thematically, (almost) everything revolves around experiencing and exploring nature. Guests can hold seminars and events on environmental issues, accessing a well-equipped environmental library. In addition, the Fuchsbau team is happy to provide them with advice and support.
There are two rooms for supervisors in the building as well as various shared rooms for children, which are equipped with bunk beds. There are also modernised washrooms with 12 showers, a dining room for about 80 people, spacious corridors and a large terrace in front of the house. The Fuchsbau is wheelchair-accessible and has a toilet for the disabled. Details of room layouts and prices can be found on the Fuchsbau website.
Also, recreational fun is not neglected during stays in the Fuchsbau. This is ensured by the diverse offers (partly subject to a charge) in the park, which are also open to Fuchsbau guests. You can use the playgrounds and sports fields as well as the skater track in the park, go swimming in the indoor or outdoor pools, rent games and sports equipment as well as bicycles, visit the animal enclosure in the Nature and Environment House or ride on the Park Railway. The children’s and youth leisure centre FEZ Berlin also attracts with great events. Sports enthusiasts may be drawn to the Wuhlheide Climbing Forest or the Sports Youth Club Arena. And if you want to see more of Berlin, you can marvel at well-known Berlin and Brandenburg sights in the Model Park.
The building of today’s Fuchsbau used to belong to the Pioneer Palace and most recently housed the Department of Tourism/Defence Education (Abteilung Touristik/Wehrerziehung). Even then, there were more than 60 beds and corresponding recreation rooms for children in the building for the tourism sector (“Young Tourists” Station). In summer, the capacity of the facility can be increased to 300 beds by using tents outside. Events included the regular military and district Spartakiads of the Society for Sport and Technology (GST) (Gesellschaft für Sport und Technik). The “Young Tourists” group developed hiking routes and at regular intervals explored the area around Berlin.
On 01.04.1995 the Fuchsbau was opened in the building as the overnight accommodation for the Young Friends of Nature Association (Naturfreundejugend Berlin e.V.). Since January 1, 2006, it has been under the sponsorship of the Forum Young Friends of Nature Berlin (Forum Naturfreundejugend Berlin e.V.), a non-profit and recognised sponsor of youth welfare, which also maintains several children’s, youth and family centres in Berlin.
The Young Friends of Nature has its origins in the workers’ movement at the beginning of the 20th century. In the struggle for improved working and living conditions, there was also a call for emancipated leisure activities. Working people from the city should be offered the opportunity to connect with nature, hike and travel. In the self-organisation of the labour movement, the first associations were founded at the end of the 19th century to organise hikes and family excursions, including the Friends of Nature Tourist Association (Touristenverein „Die Naturfreunde“.) founded by Viennese socialists. In 1908, a local group was founded in Berlin, which only a few years later became independent as the Friends of Nature Hiking Workers Federation (Arbeiterwanderbund “Die Naturfreunde”). In 1926, as a counterweight to bourgeois education, it started the Young Friends of Nature. You can find out more about the eventful history of the Friends of Nature Here.