A project to train today the citizens of tomorrow
The Italian protected areas preserve an extraordinary heritage of nature, art, and history.
This heritage belongs to the whole world, and the duty of the Italian citizens is to know and preserve it.
For this reason, the Italian Ministry of the Environment, together with Federparchi, has planned "Cittadini del Parco" (Citizens of the Park): an environmental education pilot project involving 14 National Parks, 12 Marine Protected Areas, and one National Nature Reserve.
In the parks, more than in any other place, Environmental Education must lead to a responsible citizenship (from here the name "Citizens of the Park"), helping the kids to understand the complexity of the relationships between nature and human activities.
The project, addressed to schools situated within the territory of protected areas, aims at enhancing environmental education experiences already developed in many parks and at creating new didactic proposals able to promote among young people the knowledge, the sense of belonging and of responsibility towards the protected area they live in.
The "Citizens of the Park" are the citizens who, tomorrow, will love their territory and commit themselves to its safeguard.
The first stage of the project was carried out in the spring 2007 in Circeo National Park, where 70 teachers from the intermediate school participated in a week of training, studying techniques to involve kids.
Afterwards, they planned and developed environmental education activities in their own schools based on the direct contact with nature, the first and essential step to help kids to become fond of the natural environment.
Also Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park joined the project thanks to the availability and enthusiasm of the 1st grade secondary school of Istituto comprensivo di Cesiomaggiore
, participating in the project with the classes IA and IB.
Teachers Rita Dalla Corte and Giancarlo Belfiore, together with the School Director Costantina Facchin, are the project contacts for our Park.
The didactic activities planned will then be used by other schools, both in our Park and in other Italian protected areas.
The project ended on 5th June 2008, with a final event during which kids presented to the Director of the Park Nino Martino, to their parents and teachers their work, receiving the certificate of "Citizens of the Park".
The project is a beautiful example of collaboration among protected areas, planned in the belief that "in the end, we will only preserve what we love, and we will only love the things we understand, and we will only understand they things we have learned to know".