The Loire Centre in Anjou was set up in Saint Mathurin sur Loire (France) in 1985 by residents of the Authion valley. Its founders’ ambition was to raise public awareness of the risk of flooding and to show the place of humans in the evolution of landscapes. Created under the name “The Anjou Valley Observatory”, the association today continues its mission to raise public awareness of the economic, ecological and social stakes in humans’ relationship with the river. It is also working on education programmes on the Loire’s natural and cultural heritage.
In Saint Mathurin sur Loire in 2007, the Loire Centre opened a visitor centre on the Loire and its landscapes to the general public. The centre covers several topics: geography, fauna and flora of the Loire, human constructions, water usage and management, cultural wealth and lifestyle of the Loire valley. The centre also runs temporary exhibitions and regular themed nights. The association hosts many school excursions on culture and heritage. It endeavours to act as an educational partner on the ground.
The association also wishes to open its doors to other rivers around the world. Since 2008, it has been organising biennials, each time focusing on one of the world’s great rivers: the Niger in 2008, the Mekong in 2010, and the Douro in 2012. A congress, celebratory events, lectures and exhibitions are organised by the association and its partners on the theme of the guest river, to provide the opportunity for all to discover other relationships between people and rivers.
Contact: Noémie Dufourmantelle, email@example.com
(translated from French by Jacqueline Graves)