A Vision for a Park
A heritage park is unique in Greek park terminology and legislation because it encompasses the full range of typical park classifications including archaeological, natural, recreational, scenic, and cultural features.
It also does something that is not typical for parks; the boundary encompasses the towns, villages and agrarian areas that surround the major natural, cultural or scenic resources in an area. In doing so, it enables these communities to benefit most from their own surrounding resources. This type of park is also different in that the local community itself leads in managing the park; typically a local organization made up of people from the region, including residents from towns and villages, business owners, farmers, as well as representatives from local, regional and national government. This coalition exists to oversee the creation, protection and success of the park.
In addition, a heritage park does not only protect the physical resources and landscape character of a region but also serves to promote traditional ways of life, local festivals, locally made products and strengthens community identity.
A community workshop was held in Megalopolis, Greece in August 2010 to present the proposal for the park. The workshop was attended by over 200 members of the community, who enthusiastically demonstrated their support for the idea of the park. Based on the input from workshop participants, the following steps are instrument to the successful creation of the park:
- The current planning effort to create the park is led by a university partnership between Greek and United States institutions, while also supported by local communities in the proposed park area.
- A coalition will need to be created consisting of representatives from local communities, the local government, the archaeological service representing the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and key advisers from Greek and United States universities.