Vacaresti Nature Park (Bucharest) and University of Arizona and Pima County, Arizona
By Dan Dimancescu, Alianta Board Member and Vacaresti Park Advisory Board
Four years ago a small team founded the Asociata Parcul Natural Vacaresti (beautiful website) to lobby for its protection of a naturally created wetlands on a 180 hectare (450 acres) site. This emerged without any human interaction on a concrete enclosed platform created in Communist times and abandoned after 1990. Recently appointed Minister of Environment, Mrs. Cristiana Pasca-Palmer, prioritized and fast-tracked requests for the site to be designated a National Protected Nature Park." On May 10, 2016, the Vacaresti Nature Park, unique in the world for its bio-diversity, was officially so-designated in an act signed by the Prime Minister and five cabinet ministers.
The ALIANTA Board decided in February of 2016 to introduce the Vacaresti Association to Pima County (Arizona) creators of a desert wetlands park (KERP) fed by rain flood water and reclaimed water as well as to leading environmental academics at the University of Arizona. The purpose of the introduction is to explore joint research projects relevant to 'urban nature parks.'
The first visit coordinated by ALIANTA Board Member Dan Dimancescu was between May 11-18, 2016, by the Asociata's director, Dan Barbulescu. Over a short few days fifteen meetings were held. The result was an agreement to discuss joint research with a possible inclusion of three other international 'urban nature park' projects in cooperation with the CNRS (France). A July follow-up visit to Bucharest by Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, the Dean of the College of Science (UofA), is planned.
Selected photos by Dan D. of the visit. See also Tucson and Sonora Desert Water Harvesting mixed-media article by Kogainon Films.