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.

2020: Special Online Edition #ParksForHealth

When the EUROPARC Federation decided last year that ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People’ would be the theme for the European Day of Parks in 2020, we would have never thought it would be this relevant. What we did know, however, is that positive contact with nature is important for human health. It can create well-being, prevent public health problems and promote an active lifestyle.

Parks & protected areas have an important mission connecting people with nature! Parks not only protect our valuable natural resources – they deliver positive health outcomes. Contact with nature is essential for human health, and in an ever-more urbanised Europe, we must create more opportunities for citizens to connect and explore the outdoors… Positive contact with nature is proved to create well-being and promote active lifestyles!

In 2020, 111 years later, Parks & Protected Areas across Europe reinvented themselves to celebrate nature with you – with all of those who couldn’t enjoy their Park, and all the others who were lucky to.

Parks are there today, tomorrow and every other day. Caring for people if people care for them too.

On the 24th of May, this was our message, as the collective voice of Europe´s Protected Areas, for nature and for people. #ParksForHealth

*****Thank you to all Parks and Protected Areas that sent us amazing images from all corners of Europe. All the footage and material that were not possible to include in this video, will be used in future messages.

Nature and Health: the role of Protected Areas

Europe’s nature is a health-promoting asset. There is increasing evidence that access to the natural environment can help guard against, treat and manage key health issues. Europe’s national parks and other protected areas are well placed to support health outcomes for people who live in or near them or who visit them.

We believe that the contribution of Europe’s national parks and other protected areas to health outcomes can be strengthened through recognition in relevant policy, practice and funding at the European, national and regional level. That is way, EUROPARC is supporting Protected Areas in developing health opportunities and partnerships with the health sector.

Where to start? Take a look to the Toolkit “Health and Well-being benefits from Parks & Protected Areas” or watch some of the webinars where we’ve shared inspiring examples from all over the globe!

Did you know…?

  • A brisk 30-minute walk on five days of the week can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by 20-30% and Depression/dementia by 30%
  • Outdoor activity and contact with nature can help sleep patterns, reduce stress, improve mood and self-esteem, and provide meaningful social
    contact
  • Experience of the natural environment by young people can be life-changing in terms of confidence and skills that can enhance job opportunities
  • Contact with nature can help reduce health inequalities at all stages of life: pre-birth, childhood, adult life and old age

Download EUROPARC Toolkit_Health and Protected Areas

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.

You can also download the official logo, the banner and Instagram image. Tag your posts with #ParksForHealth.