The Augustow Canal Park was established in May 2011. The administration of the free economic zone Grodnoinvest is in charge of its management. The park occupies over 5,800ha. It comprises the Augustow Canal and the watercourse of the Neman River with adjacent territories in Grodno and Grodno District. Augustow Canal Park resident companies are granted tax and customs preferences for investment projects.
The Augustow Canal is one of the largest canals in Europe. It connects the Neman River and the Vistula River via a network of canals, smaller rivers, and lakes. The Augustow Canal was built in the period between the beginning and the middle of the 19th century. Back then, 29 flow-through dams were built together with 18 sluices, 14 bridges, and 24 support and maintenance facilities. However, with the rise of railway transportation the canal lost its importance as a transport route.
The canal was seriously damaged during the two world wars. In 20042006, the Belarusian part of the canal was restored. A number of sluices and drawbridges were rebuilt. At present, the Augustow Canal is about 102km long, with 22km in Belarus and the rest in Poland. The canal is primarily used for leisure and tourism.