Past European Day of Parks
2020 Special Online Edition #ParksForHealth
Due to the corona crisis, the European Day of Parks could not be celebrated face to face in many places. So, like with almost everything that year, we moved on online! In 2020 it was all about the importance of positive contact with nature for human health. Parks & protected areas have an important mission connecting people with nature! We invited parks to join us by using #ParksForHealth. Additionally we collected video and audio material from our members to honor all Protected Areas do for us. With this, we created the following video:
2019 Our Natural Treasures
Our Protected Areas are made of amazing landscapes, incredible species and unique habitats. What are the Natural Treasures your park is protecting? What is the story of that endangered species that live in your Park? That is what we looked at during the European Day of Parks in 2019. In total 413 events were organised in 33 countries!
2018 Cultural Heritage: it’s in our Nature!
Cultural Identity is rooted in the connection to the land. Look at your local traditions, at the stories your landscape tells, at the crafts, literature , and art, at the architectonic styles, or even at the food you eat… Afterall, isn’t cultural heritage in our Nature? In 2018, 28 countries organised events to celebrate the European Day of Parks (around 350 events across Europe). On the 24th May, EUROPARC and IUCN Panorama Solutions held a special joint webinar to share 2 case studies from Portugal and Armenia.
2017: Changing Climate, Changing Parks
The Climate is changing, bringing changes that affect the life of every being on earth. Nature was never so threatened – nor so needed – as before.
On the European Day of Parks 2017, we celebrated across Europe the role of Protected Areas in climate change mitigation and highlighted the importance of keeping our healthy ecosystems. Read more about the event and promotion tools created to celebrate here.
Exhibitions, practical workshops, activities with schools, guided tours, were some of the main events organised organised across 25 countries. Around 400 activities took place between the months of May and June, only in Italy, 200 activies took place and were registered in the website parks.it. In Spain, around 100 activities were organised across the country – you can download here the activities that took place in Spain. On the map below, you can have a glimpse of activities organised in other European Countries.
A Taste of Nature
A Taste of Nature was the biggest celebration ever of the European Day of Parks! Over 350 events in 23 countries were organised, reaching thousands of EU citizens. Tasting sessions, gastronomic workshops, guided tours and local markets were some of the activities organised by our Parks. “A Taste of Nature” enhanced the link between protected areas and sustainable agriculture and promoted the value of a healthy nature for Europe’s food security. In this edition, the EUROPARC Federation counted with the support of Slow Food.
Nature is our Business
On European Day of Parks 2015, we showed that Nature is our Business. The nature we have in our care, is valuable in its own right, but needed for business and communities too. In 23 countries across Europe on Sunday, 24th May, national parks, nature reserves and other Protected Areas opened their doors to visitors on the European Day of Parks 2015. More than 80 Protected Areas celebrated and raised the value and benefits of Nature, and hundreds of special activities demonstrated how Nature is good for business. From Poland to Italy and from Finland to France around this one day, thousands of people shared their love of nature and the local culture.
You could see a special natural market place, showcasing all local products, or joint promotions with sustainable businesses. Nature guiding and nature watching were also highlighted.
This year, once again, this special event in Europe has been an amazingly successful day and we are glad and impressed that so many members celebrated this day with a wonderful range of activities. More than 100 Protected Areas promoted the day, which aims at being internationally recognized in 2014 for the sake of protected areas´ status in European societies.
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.
My park. My passion. My story
In the light of EUROPARC Federation´s 40th anniversary in 2013, we celebrated the pan-European network founded in 1973 throughout the year under the theme “40 years Working for Nature”. The motto of the European Day of Parks 2013 was My Park. My Passion. My Story. which created space for individuals and Protected Area organizations to join the celebration and share their “story” with the EUROPARC network.
European Day of Parks invited everybody who loves to be out in nature to share her/his story:
We invited people who work in Protected Areas as well as those who visit them to reflect on the beauty of nature and share their passion, feelings and emotions in a story, a song, a picture, a film, any piece of art that expresses how you feel connected to your most favourite Protected Area.
See the sky, touch a tree, feel the air and find yourself!
The celebration theme of 2012 encouraged the people across Europe to get a unique and individual experience in one of Europe’s Natural Parks: Parks as living health spas for stressed fatigued Europeans, that was the idea promoted under the theme See the sky, touch a tree, feel the air and find yourself! More than 140 events in 21 places from the West to the East of Europe reminded of the great free resources our Protected Areas consist of.
This year´s motto was simple and individualistic, intending to inspire people to enjoy and appreciate the natural treasures in their own country and all over Europe. With some 150 events registered from 21 countries, this year´s European Day of Parks 2012 was another successful event! The 84 participating parks had a great media response, as had the EUROPARC Federation social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. The weekly reach of 6033 likes/comments/replies/mentions and many new followers prove the importance of social media.
Volunteering – Nature Needs You
Celebrating the European Year of Volunteers, the 2011 events of European Day of Parks took the opportunity to promote the great work millions of volunteers do in Protected Areas around Europe every year: ‘Volunteering—Nature Needs You’, ‘Volontariat – La nature a besoin de vous’, ‘Freiwillige vor – die Natur braucht Sie’. Nature protection is one of the societal sectors that profits most from volunteering. The European Day of Parks promoted the work of volunteers with more than 500 events in 185 Protected Areas in 17 countries.
Europe’s Protected Areas celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity
Over 180 parks in around 20 European countries opened their doors to thousands of visitors for the European Day of Parks and joined in more than 400 events celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity with the theme ‘Biodiversity and People: Space for Nature?’ “This is a great opportunity to learn more about these beautiful places, the flora and fauna they support and their importance for mankind”, said Carol Ritchie, director of EUROPARC Federation.
Youth – the future of our parks
2009 was a landmark year for European national parks: On 24th May 1909 the first nine were founded in Sweden, Abisko, Ängso, Garphyttan, Gotska Sandön, Hamra, Pieljekaise, Sarek, Stora Sjöfallet and Sanfjället, paving the way for the around 300 national parks that exist across Europe today. More than 120 events organized in over 80 Protected Areas in 20 countries focused on ´Youth – the future of our parks´.
Nature – bridging borders
In 2008 over 600 events were organised by Protected Areas, government authorities and non-governmental organisations in 20 European countries to mark the occasion on and around 24 May. The theme was ‘Nature – bridging borders’.