European Day of Parks
Parks for Nature. Parks for well-being. Parks for peace.
The European Day of Parks is a commemorative day for protected areas across Europe that was launched in 1999 by the EUROPARC Federation to celebrate protected areas throughout Europe.
The European Day of Parks takes place on and around 24th of May each year. It aims at bringing people closer to nature and raising public awareness on the importance of the natural beauty preserved in protected areas and the importance of conservation and sustainable management of those places.
In 2014, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Therefore this year, the European Day of Parks (EDoP) was held under the theme:
“Parks for Nature. Parks for well-being. Parks for peace.”
Why should we remember? Why should we stop for a second and think about those events that happened so long ago? By the end of the First World War, there were very few people in the countries that took part, who remained unaffected. The war reached out and touched almost everyone’s life in some way or other.
By connecting EUROPARC’s most important date to this important anniversary, we want to emphasize how our protected areas can have very different roles in people’s lives. We want to tackle the big question: What is the contribution that protected areas make to Peace and Wellbeing? This initiative aims to raise the awareness of the wide public on the relevance and value of protected areas – including N2000 sites - for the conservation of nature and the peace among people and communities
This May, in 23 countries across Europe, national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas opened their doors to visitors on the European Day of Parks 2014. Hundreds of special activities connected to the theme “Parks for Nature. Parks for well-being. Parks for peace.”: celebrated the day, marking the 100th anniversary since the First World War.
Walks, excursions, exhibitions and more were held by protected areas from Finland to Spain and from the Ireland to Romania. They highlighted the significant role that protected areas play in protecting an abundance of creatures across the continent. The diversity of events once again showed that parks use a nature-inspired creativity to address different groups of society, from tourists to children, from outdoor lovers to plant lovers.
What a creative month it was, music in the Dutch national parks, huge celebration in the capital of Montenegro, mobilizing numerous Italian Parks, hiking day in Germany, sunset walk in Malta, being a ranger for a day in Croatia, photo workshop in Denmark and France, exhibitions in Finland, peace birds in Romania, launching a new website in Sweden and numerous numerous more. More than 100 protected areas in 23 countries promoted the day, which aims at being internationally recognized in 2014 for the sake of protected areas´ status in European societies
More information on the events and parks that registered can be found here.
2014 EDoP ONLINE CONEST
For the 2014 European Day of Parks EUROPARC ran an online contest on Facebook for the most inspirational entry!
We invited all the people who work in protected areas as well as those who visit them to reflect on our history that day in the beauty of nature and share their feelings and emotions in any piece of art that expresses how they reflect on the history happenings and feel connected to their most favourite Protected Area.
Visit our Facebook page and take a look at some of the material our members shared with us, marking their activities and events in astonishing photos and videos under the topic “Parks for Nature. Parks for well-being. Parks for peace.”
European Day of Parks 2014 winner
All protected areas, Natura 2000 sites, EUROPARC members and partners are always invited to join both the European Day of Parks activities and contest - and make this day an unforgettable event!
For any other queries and information please contact our Communication's Officer Dea Mijakovac at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the light of European Day of Parks - #EDoP2014, EUROPARC was also supporting the first World Fish Migration Day celebrated on May 24th. Local community events took place at 250 locations worldwide and celebrated the big day. Many of our Protected Areas are placed within the near distance of rivers and lakes.
The purpose of this event was to promote greater awareness of the global importance of freshwater migratory fish and free flowing rivers. Migratory fish species support food supply and livelihoods for millions of people, but are now more than ever under great threat. The main causes of this are man-made obstacles. Dams, weirs and sluices built for water management, hydropower, irrigation and land drainage disrupt the natural flow of rivers and can prevent fish migration.
Many fish need to migrate to reproduce, feed and complete their life cycles. Migratory species make up a crucial link in the food chain and play an important ecological role in productive river systems. Read more on the WFMD 2014.