European Day of Parks
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. It celebrates the creation of the 1st National Parks in Europe – a set of nine parks created in Sweden in 1909.
2021: Parks – The Next Generation
2020 was a year that posed big challenges for Parks around Europe. From no visitors to an overflow of visitors, from floods to droughts and from invasive species to a decline in biodiversity – the challenges are numerous. However, if there is one thing that nature teaches us, it is that to survive we need to adapt.
Covid-19 has, once again, highlighted Europe’s need for green spaces. The European recovery plan “Next Generation EU” promises to build a better, greener and more resilient Europe. EUROPARC is convinced that Parks and Protected Areas need to be involved in discussions about the future, and work hard on efficient solutions to ensure a safer and sustainable Europe.
So, what have you learned from the challenges that 2020 posed? And what does this mean for the future of Parks? In short; what does the next generation of Parks look like? That is what we want to discover and celebrate during this year’s European Day of Parks!
It is time to refresh and rethink what Parks offer, to adapt to new methods of communication, new infrastructures and new visitors. Of course, when thinking about the next generation of Parks, youth involvement is absolutely essential – at all levels of Parks management. After all, they are the next generation of nature professionals. However, please note that the theme “The Next Generation” is not limited to just young people! It can be new ways of working, changes in management or adaptations due to the corona crisis: feel free to get creative!
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The European Day of Parks is a day to celebrate Protected Areas. Let us show the world in 2021 how Parks are continuously evolving, adapting and moving forward!
Organise your events
Even though, there is again a real possibility that this year’s European Day of Parks will need to take place online, last year’s edition shows us that this doesn’t stop us from raising awareness on everything that Parks are doing. Here are some ideas of events you can organise, both on- and offline.
- Adapting to new crowds: how has your Park responded to new visitors? You could start a social media campaign about good “Park etiquette” or do guided tours along new paths to distribute visitors
- Get youth involved: reach out to school or local youth groups to get them involved in your Park! Or you can let your Junior Rangers lead help organise events this European Day of Parks.
- New offers: corona has emphasized that green spaces are more than just places for nature, they are essential for human health as well. How is your Park responding to
this demand? Maybe through offering mindfulness walks or forest bathing? EUROPARC’s Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe programme can inspire you to create partnerships with the health sector.
You can upload your events here. We welcome all parks to do so, whether it is a face to face or online event: there is “strength in numbers”. Together, we can raise visibility for all Parks and Protected Areas in Europe!
Listen to the video messages!
EUROPARC always wants to highlight the important work of its members. Because this year’s celebration might partially be online again, we asked our members to send us a video message. In roughly one minute, they explained what they have learned from the pandemic and how they are getting ready for The Next Generation! Leading up to the 24th of May we will start uploading all messages & promote them across our social media channels.
Promotional material in your language
Parks are free to use the banner EUROPARC created. If your language is not included, or if you need the banner in a different format, do not hesitate to contact us under communications @ europarc.org
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Download the European Day of Parks logo
If you are not interested in using the official posters, you can also download the logo and use it in your activities. Download contains .PNG and .eps.
About the European Day of Parks
Imagine a day when all Parks and Protected Areas come together across Europe, celebrate their successes and declare the value and benefits of Europe’s Protected Areas to communities, decision-makers and the wider public. Well, it is EUROPARC’s European Day of Parks!
Every year European Day of Parks takes place on and around 24th of May. It aims to bring people closer to nature and raise public awareness on the importance of the natural beauty preserved in Protected Areas and the importance of conservation and sustainable management of those places.
Check here to see the previous editions.