Roztoka-Brzeziny Mill Village


Roztoka-Brzeziny Mill Village

Case Study Contents

1. Ecomuseum Data

Ecomuseum Name

Roztoka-Brzeziny Mill Village

Date of Creation

March 2016


Roztoka-brzeziny 105; 33-316 Rożnów


+48 788 175 741

1.1. Description of the Ecomuseum

This ecomuseum was launched in a historic Mill Village consisting of wooden buildings related to rural industry (milling and sawmilling). It is one of the last examples of an old rural building with an operating mill and sawmill in Nowy Sącz county (South Poland). In the face of the disappearance of this types of buildings, the decision was made to take action in order to protect and maintain cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) related to old rural industry. Activities that are undertaken to maintain cultural heritage include reconstruction and renovation of objects, machines and devices related to rural milling and sawmilling industry. This museum is the space enabling promotion of regional cultural heritage by means of organization of European Heritage Days, Małopolska Heritage Days and other dissemination events. Ecoumseum is available for all kinds of visitors, individual guests and organizaed groups. The important part of ecomuseum activities are educational workshops. They make up a package consisting of guided visiting the village, demonstrative activation of mill and educational-cuinary workshops (art and craft, soda pancakes). This ecomuseum is linked to Traditional Craft Trail, On Plum Trail and On Honey Trail that are organized to attract visitors to heritage sites. Ecomuseum operates basing on a mixed model by means of linkage of two entities: private and social (foundation). Ecomuseum is located in an area rich in nature values and ecomuseum deals with protection and promotion of natural environment and unchanged natural and cultural landscape. It constitutes refuge of wild animals, birds and plants, typical for the Carpathians.

1.2. Members of the Ecomuseum

Name of the person in charge

Michał Winiarski

Owner and president of foundation for ‘Mill Village’ cultural heritage protection and support
Number of ecomuseum team members

4, including 3 volunteers

Qualification/training of team members

Michał Winiarski, owner and manager – formal-legal aspects of ecomuseum managing issues: postgraduate studies in museology, pedagogy (teaching qualifications) and raising European funds, trainings in NGO management and study visits to Polish and foreign heritage sites.

Volunteers have the knowledge concerning local history, culture and customs of the place and they are passionates. They have unique skills to operate old machines and devices in the mill and sawmill.

Ecomuseum cooperates with organizations from the region and their specialists contribute to ecomuseum (deliver knowledge and skills, carry out workshops)


Ecomuseum has a very limited team and it does not organize or deliver trainings for the team. To raise the knowledge and skills ecomuseum team members participate in trainings held by other organizations or institutions. There is a wide range of useful and relevant trainings and study visit to improve necessary competences, often offered free of charge. The team benefits from contacts with specialists in various fields (e.g. heritage protection, tourism development, social economy). However, ecomuseum leader is aware of the need to develop competences, knowledge and skills to make the ecomuseum education program more attractive, presenting deeper and wider knowledge and traditional skills. Ecomuseum feels responsible for raising awareness of heritage value and need of its protection among local community. There is also high need to develop skills to disseminate and promote natural and cultural heritage and to develop modern tools and technologies. The ecomuseum team needs training in project management and fundraising to be able to develop ecomuseum (new objects and equipment, promotion).

Some Examples of Training Needs Identified

Cultural heritage protectionTraining for local stakeholders (public intitutions, inhabitants, NGOs) aimed at ientification of local heritage and methods of its protection.On-siteXX
Natural and cultural heritage promotionTraining aimed at raisning knowledge and practical skill in working out and implement promotion strategy (methods, technologies)On-siteXX
Project management and fundraisingPreparing ecomuseum team to raise funds for ecomuseum development and implement projectsOn-siteXX

3. Funding and Resources

Type of entity
Museum, foundation
Official status
Museum under construction, Foundation

This ecomuseum is a grassroots initiatives and is, at the current stage, financed mainly from owner’s private sources. Lately, the Foundation for ‘Mill Village’ Cultural Heritage Protection and Support was established to support ecomuseum and raise additional funds for implementation of investment and non-investment (soft) projects. So far the foundation has implemented three small projects, financed from state and private sources. However, the ecomuseum team needs to develop knowledge and skills to work out and implement high-volume projects.

The main source of Ecomuseum’s income is delivering interactive workshops presenting local cultural heritage (the most popular are culinary workshops. The target group for the workshops are organized groups of children. Interesting is that those groups come mostly from outside of the region (from whole Poland) while local schools do not appreciate the opportunity to include visit in Ecomuseum in the formal education. Besides, Ecomuseum runs a shop with souvenirs and local products, sells flour. Important part of Ecomuseum services make study visits for organizations and institutions interested in learning about Mill Village operation and transferring the idea and experiences to their area. They are a good way to promote Ecomuseum and services outside of the region (word of mouth marketing). It receives mostly organized tourist groups. Ecomuseum is now preparing to launch the ticketing system for visitors interested in guided tours in the Milling Village.

Ecomuseum analyzes potential mechanisms to finance its operation to develop a sustainable model based of diverse sources of income. It takes into account not only traditional, obvious ones like sale of tickets, groups visits, subsides) but use also more innovative services like consultancy, advisory, trainings, cooperation with other entities (bilateral projects), researches and development of entrepreneurship.

State institutions and local government hardly support this kind of initiatives, especially private ones. That makes things difficult for their leaders. On the other hand, they are not dependent on public funds and are made to develop creative and innovative financial mechanisms.

4. Social and Community Participation

Ecomuseum is an important factor in safeguarding, maintenance and presentation of local heritage, it mostly deal with old milling tradition. However its activities include other aspects of local and regional heritage: nature, art and craft, history and cuisine. To prepare more comprehensive offer concerning local heritage Ecomuseum made connection and cooperate with other entities and individuals from the region (NGOs, passionates, specialists). The cooperation serves also better knowledge and understanding of local heritage and organization of common actions. Besides, ecomuseum feels responsible for education of children from the region offering them free of charge guided tours and workshops. Ecomuseum is a ‘living’ place presenting authentic machines mostly in their original surroundings and visitors can benefit from seeing them in action. They can learn not only how to process cereals but also how to make traditional bread and keep dialogue while discovering things. Guests are also welcome with any kind of suggestions or hints that are considered as a good way to improve offer.

4.1. Local Population

Number of inhabitants of the territory/locality where the ecomuseum is located
600 (village of Roztoka-Brzeziny), 9000 (Gródek on Dunajec River, to which it belongs)
Number of members of the local population involved in the ecomuseum

Ways of participation

This ecomuseum is a unique place, not only in the region, thus it is well known by local community as well as institutions and organizations from the region. For this reason, it is considered to be a good partner for cooperation in the region, especially in the field of culture, education, tourism and natural and cultural heritage protection. Ecomuseum cooperates with other entities, mainly with NGOs that are focused on culture and local development (e.g. Local Action Group, Rural Housewives Groups) and with individuals – people having passion for local nature, history and culture. For popularization of the heritage Ecomuseum engages in organization of European and Małopolska heritage Days, Crown of the Foothill festivals, Craft Trail and shows the Mill Village to the visitors and delivers traditional workshops. It keeps touch with specialists from traditional milling industry in order to exchange experiences, knowledge and information. Ecomuseum organizes guided tours and workshops for children from the region free of charge. Ecomuseum cooperates with various stakeholder in order to discover, interpret and present local heritage and contribute to its protection and maintenance. One of the Ecomuseum Partner is Regional Museum in Nowy Sącz to support and promote Małopolska home museums in order to cross-link those initiatives.

4.2. Social milieu

Number of visitors from the territory/locality where the ecomuseum is located
children from 35 local schools (ca 750) per year, local leaders, members of local community (500)
Number of foreign visitors
20 per year

Forms of involvement

Ecomuseum oerates as a “living” space, in which the traditional activities are held related to the milling and saw milling industry. Visiting guests have opportunity to see working traditional mill and understand its operation, they can observe the process of producing flour starting from the grain. During interactive educational workshops participants are involved in hand-made proeparation of traditional bread or soda crumpet baked on a traditional stove sheet. Guided tours are based on interaction between the guide and visitors – it is nor just telling the story but common discovering it. Guests are encourged to ask questions, share comments and ideas as well as do simple work, that was in past done in rural household (e.g. using manual burrowing). Ecomuseum has the principle to show as many as possible machines and devices while they operate, so that the demonstratiion is dynamic. That enables seeing the work of authentic often older than 100 years machines and it makes the message more attractive. The dialogue with visitors is also aimed at improvement of the way the knowledge, information and skills are delivered and it is always profiled and customized to the indvidual needs and expectations.

4.3. Website analisis

Ecomuseum has no functioning web page at the moment. The old web page is not active anymore and Ecomuseum plans to develop a new one. Though Ecomuseum is active on Facebook profile it realizes the need to launch a new, at list information web page.

5. Innovation and Research

Activity of Ecomuseum (Mill Village) is exceptional in the region – there is no such a site elsewhere. It relates especially to a preserved operating historic mill and sawmill that is maintained in situ. There is a traditional mill monument in the open-air museum in Nowy Sącz, however there is no possibility to carry out the grist, thus there is no opportunity to show the whole process and the narration is static. Demonstrative operation of the mill in the ecomuseum is unique as there are very few places where that can be seen. The ecomuseum collects all kind of unique publications concerning traditional milling. They include technical books concerning construction of the mills, machines and mill devices, machines operation etc. The oldest examples are older that 100 years. Lately, Ecomuseum has carried out a very special project of small rural mill reconstruction basing on saved historic mill equipment. Implementation of the project has contributed to record and maintain one of the latest examples of rural small scale cereals processing industry in the region.

Ecomuseum is a grassroots initiative of a milling passionate representing a family of many generations of millers. To make the undertaking feasible the owner of the ecomuseum established a foundation to support development and operation of ecomuseum. This is a very good solution, especially in places where there is practically no support from public institutions. The foundation can raise funds and implement projects that are unavailable for private people. This organizational model is effective and can be a solution in case when a private person is interested in protection and preservation of historic sites and has no financial possibilities to invest own resources. The value of the Ecomuseum is that the initiative serves not only preservation but also dissemination in a form of education-tourism offer. It is worth accentuate that ecomuseum is open for cooperation with other organizations and institution to make a wider platform and a vehicle to protect, maintain and present various aspects of local heritage (art, craft, cuisine, folklore) in situ in historic surroundings.

6. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Number of SDGs that the ecomuseum is working on
Preferential SDGs
4 Quality education, 7 Affordable and clean energy, 12 Responsible consumption and production, 15 Life on land

SDG-related projects/actions

Regular activitiesEcomuseum regularly holds educational workshops related to cultural and culinary heritage. They are delivered in a ‘living’ space and participants can visually realize how life used to look like 100 years ago. Primal principle in ecomuseum is to keep all machines and mill devices able to work and show their operation to participants during educational activities. Delivered knowledge is based on reliable sources.4 Quality educationRaising knowledge concerning milling and saw milling rural industry
New projectEcomuseum has an idea of a of a demonstrative watermill reconstruction.
It is based on a historic tradition – in this place there used operate a watermill for several dozen years. The natural-hydrologic conditions maintained and they make it possible to restore a watermill. The watermill was turned into an electric one in 50-ties of 10 century, but part of its equipment was preserved and there is a building that can be adapted for a watermill. It is a priority project for ecomuseum.
7 Affordable and clean energyVisitors can learn how a mill worked using green energy of river water.
Regular activityIn Ecomuseum flour is produced in a traditional way. The cereal is acquired from local farms. They have organic food certificate and old traditional cereal species are used like spelt, emmer and einkorn. In future there is a plan to open a mill shop offering flour and groats produced with historic machines and devices in Ecomuseum mills.12 Responsible consumption and productionPromotion of traditional species of cereals and organic food, raising the awareness of healthy diet
Regular activity and a new projectEcomuseum is located in an area of high natural values, close to a flow and with a lot of diverse trees that is a refuge of valuable vegetation and numerous species of birds and animals. Ecomuseum carry out protective activities including the vicinity of ecomuseum by means of agri-environmental programs as well as protection of birds, bats and other mammals by installing nesting boxes every year. Ecomuseum plans a project aimed at creation of nature-culture trail leading through historic buildings and neighboring rich nature area.15 Life on landProtection of natural resources and promotion of natural values

Ecomuseum is a local grassroots venture and had no ambition to contribute to SDGs implementation process. However its activities are strongly related to at least four SDGs: Quality education, Affordable and clean energy, Responsible consumption and production and Life on land. Dealing mostly with specific area of cultural heritage it is sensitive for other aspects of natural and cultural value, initiates activities and feel responsible for protection of resources and ensuring sustainable life. It contribute to improvement of education, particularly delivering knowledge related to local history, culture, tradition and nature in authentic environment of Mill Village by a flow surrounded by old trees. Though its main focus is milling industry it feels responsible for natural environment, protects birds and bats and promotes organic farming and traditional ways of food processing. It plans to make connection with past by reconstructing a watermill to show how river water could be used as a source of energy to produce mill. Traditional flour and groats produced from old species of cereals will be available in the Ecomuseum as a local product.

7. COVID-19

Period of COVID-19 pandemic has a significant negative impact on Ecomuseum operation. For a long time it was not possible to deliver services like organizing guided tours in Ecomuseum, delivering educational workshops (art, craft and culinary), especially as they normally have a hands-on formula. At that time it was also hard to make connections and develop cooperation with other entities and local community. Implemented projects missed partners who were not so much willing to get involved due to restrictions and anxiety. Ecomuseum has not work out any alternative methods of delivering its services, e.g. organizing on-line workshops, producing films. Pandemic did not favor fundraising and aid state programs were addressed mostly to hotel and catering industry while fragile heritage ventures were left alone.


Barbara Kazior

Scientific Coordinators

Leandro França, Barbara Kazior, Óscar Navajas, Manuel Parodi-Álvarez, Lisa Pigozzi, Raul dal Santo, Julio Seoane, Maristela Simão