European Day of Parks – Online Events

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This year’s European Day of Parks on the 24th of May is a special one! Due to the restrictions regarding COVID-19, many of us can’t visit parks in person, however, our protected areas have worked extra hard to still give you the opportunity to connect with nature. This year we invited Parks to show how they contribute to the health of European citizens, that is why we launched the social media campaign #ParksForHealth. We have received many responses and are grateful to all parks that participated. Check out some of the great initiatives created by parks:

“ReConnecting with Nature” in Apuseni Nature Park (RO)

Apuseni Nature Park started a great online campaign focussing on the health benefits the park offers. They launched an online questionnaire to measure the level of public awareness on the topic of Healthy Parks, Healthy People. Additionally, over a period of 4 weeks they prepared materials to be published daily online, with a new topic every week:

–          Week 1: Get to know your park, get to know your nature

–          Week 2: Natural resources, benefits for your health

–          Week 3: Collaboration for a healthy community

–          Week 4: Successful projects, examples of good practices

Lastly, Apuseni Nature Park will launch a “ReConnecting with Nature” map online on the European Day of Parks, 24th of May. Here locations that visitors normally wouldn’t stop by are highlighted. Check out their Facebook to see all posts!

Great spotted woodpecker. Photo by Nicolae Scrob

Video series at Drents Friese Wold National Park (NL)

The Drents Frisian Forest National Park has produced a number of videos for this special day, which underline how this park contributes to our health and features some great shots of the park. Check out the videos on Youtube!

Digital excursions through the National Parks of Netherlands (NL)

IVN Natuur Educatie offers digital excursions available from the 22nd of May, so everyone can experience Dutch nature digitally with one of the foresters or National Park Guides. Check it out here!

National Park Quiz (NL)

How well do you know the National Parks of the Netherlands? That’s the question, or “questions”… Would you like to know more about the unique, special nature of the National Parks or would you like to put your knowledge of nature to the test? Then participate digitally in the special nature quiz! The quiz will be online from Friday May 22nd at 12:00!

On site events in Estland (EE)

In Estonia, the restrictions are less severe. Throughout the country and its national parks, there are 60 events organised! For example, Tipu Nature School celebrates the European Day of Parks with an event for families. Families can build bird and small insect nesting aids. Apart from that visitors can scoop and have a closer look at water insects in the pond, discover the world through the microscope, test their sense of taste, try to walk on stilts, test their knowledge on protected areas and have a look at Tipu Nature School’s farm animals. As only two families can participate in the program at the same time, prebooking is needed.

In the Lahemaa National Park (which received the Charter for Sustainable Tourism destination in 2019) a dozen hikes take place, from shorter cultural history walks to longer Nordic walking tours. In addition, the manor culture, cinematography heritage, managing semi-natural communities, medicinal plants and edible flowers will be introduced. Local restaurants are also open and some offer picnic packages to take away.

At Matsalu National Park (received Charter for Sustainable Tourism in 2015, applying for re-evaluation in 2020) canoe trips take place on the Kasari River. Here you can look for traces of beavers and enjoy the beauty of the meadows. If you are lucky, you can meet elk, beaver, common kingfisher and hear the sounds of the great bittern and corncrake. Local youth centre offers a special hiking trip for the local children.

At Soomaa National Park (applying for Charter for Sustainable Tourism in 2020) you can go for a canoe or dugout canoe trips. Local guides help to interpret the historical village landscapes.

Dugout canoe. Photo by Sandra Urvak

Stork Live Stream of Zwin Natuur Park (BE)

How about some digital bird watching? Zwin Natuurpark has a livestream up on YouTube where you can follow two stork couples and their newly hatched chicks.

Virtual viewpoints in the Nature Park Black Forest (DE)

Nature Park Black Forest in Germany is bringing nature to your living room! They set up a total of 16 virtual viewpoints in the central and northern Black Forest. Visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view and discover the Black Forest landscape and special points from home. Check it out here.

Black Forest National park, Schwarzwald

Black Forest National Park, Germany –
Buhlbachsee photo by Arne Kolb

Wadden Sea National Park (DE)

The Wadden Sea National Park has an array of online videos to help you reconnect to nature and learn something new! Here is a selection of the online offers:

  1. Video guided tours with biologist through the National Park Centre Multimar Wattforum.
  2. 360° video from the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site at Westerhever Lighthouse with National Park Ranger Christian Piening.
  3. 360° video of the highlights at the National Park Centre Multimar Wattforum – virtual tour with exhibition director Claus von Hoerschelmann.
  4. Animated explanatory video on the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
  5. They are part of a 360° game app on German World Heritage Sites. You can download the app here.
  6. Become a Junior Ranger on the Internet – Discover nature in an online game.

Bicycle tour through Brijuni National Park (HR)

On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity, which is celebrated on May 22nd and the Day of Nature Protection in Croatia, the Brijuni National Park offers a special interpretive bicycle tour aimed for families or interested individuals. The tour includes expert guidance and visiting of various terrestrial habitats of Brijuni National Park. Visitors will have the opportunity to get to know some hidden and less known parts of Veliki Brijun and learn about the importance of the diversity of ecosystems, habitats and species.

Guided tour through Balaton Uplands National Park (HU)

The Balaton Uplands National Park Directorate invites for an approximately 2,5 hours guided tour on Tihany Peninsula. During the tour the geological and cultural heritage, flora and fauna of the peninsula is interpreted by their professional guide. Application is required until 23th May, 2020.

HEALTHY FOOD RECIPE CONTEST of Natural Parks of Cádiz (ES)

The Natural Parks of Cádiz will publish an on-line recipe book with the healthy foods of the different municipalities that integrate these protected spaces, to show the rich intangible heritage through its healthy cuisine, and promote its conservation. The recipe book will include, besides the way of preparing the dishes, a more experiential section where advice, seasons and special days in which to cook will be collected; best bars or restaurants where to taste them; smells, flavours and all kinds of anecdotes that the author wants to share with readers. Check it out here.

Online ParkFest at Parco Naturale Prealpi Giulie (IT)

On the 24th of May the Parco Naturale Prealpi Giulie will host an online Parkfest with two LIVE FaceBook events (10.30 o’clock and 18 o’clock). Discover the wonders of nature, get in touch with national and international experts in a constructive and innovative dialogue and understand the importance of Nature and Parks for our health.

To see more posts and activities on the European Day of Parks 2020 search #ParksForHealth on social media or have a look at our event page!