Parish: Stradu Parish
Area: 173.5 km²
Stradu parish is located in the SE part of Gulbene region. It borders Rugāji parish of Balvi district, Dauksti parish of Gulbene district, Beļava, Stāmeriena, Litene parish and Gulbene city. The parish is special in that other settlements - Stāķi and Šķieneri - have grown into a place that gave the parish its name - Stradus. One of the largest treasures of the parish is forests, which occupy 61% of the entire territory of the parish. In the south-eastern part, the Pededze River meanders along its banks with large oak stands, receiving tributaries Akviņas, Krustalīci, Melnupi. There are three lakes in the forests on the left bank of the Pededze - Lazdags (140 ha), Kalnis (120 ha) and Mezītis (54 ha).
There are amateur art groups in the parish: vocal ensembles “Touch” and “Baltabele”, creative studio “Magone”, interest group “Rasa”.
Stradu Parish is proud of Stāķi Primary School, which was founded in 1994. Cozy rooms, modern study environment, local history exposition, modern dining room design, spacious gym, boarding school, extended day group. As a result of the implementation of LEADER and other projects, a children's and youth room "Ligzda" has been set up and arranged on the third floor of the Stāķi Sports House, which is available for students to spend their free time. There is a Stāķi preschool educational institution in the parish, as well as Stradu and Stāķi libraries. Several companies have also provided housing, which provide employment opportunities for the residents of the parish and county.
Cultural and natural monuments: farmstead "Vecdziesnieki", the birthplace of the founder of the Latvian artistic ornament Jūlijs Madernieks "Vecdziesnieki", Pededze cemetery, Jaunpommeri ancient cemetery. There are specially protected nature objects of national and local significance in the parish: nature reserves “Pededze oak grove” and part of the reserve “Pededze Downstream”. Nine state and seven local trees grow in the parish. The first 14 soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Latvia, who were killed in the summer of 1941 in the Ostrovies summer camp, are buried in the Pededze (former Ezernieki) cemetery.
Stradu parish can be proud of the residents who have developed business and tourism in the parish. More and more guests of the parish choose to go on scenic boat trips along the Pededze River, take a walk in the magical deer garden or find out how the famous Pakalnie cheese is made.
Tourism: recreation complex “Dīķsalas”, cheese factory “Pakalnieši”, Lasertag park and equipment rental “inTag”, deer garden “Mežsētas”, wooden workshops, excursions, camping, production of wooden furniture and interior items “Rubenis woodwork”, Stāķi local history exposition , Šķieneri stop or “Šķietura” - a unique stop dedicated to the centenary of Latvia, environmental objects in Stāķi Park “Nature Living Room”.
Notable personalities: Harry Gavars (1897-1984) - Mayor of Gulbene from 1928 to 1940. Jūlijs Madernieks (1870-1950) - founder of the Latvian artistic ornament. Today we are proud of our participants in the Winter Olympics: biathlete Madara Līdums and bobsledder Daumants Dreiškens, as well as basketball player Pavel Veselov and opera singer Nauri Indzer.