European Day of Parks 2014

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 well-being? 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.

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 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.