While Yellowstone was the first national park in the United States and is widely held to be the first national park in the world, London is now set to break the mold that was established back in 1872.
How? By becoming the world’s first “National Park City.”
If you’re among the almost 100 percent of people who have no idea what the hell that means, cool. We’re here to clear it up today … and while we’re at it, enjoy a hefty dose of inspiration from this truly unique move.
National Park City: Can Urban and Wild Really Meld?
For most people, the words “urban” and “wild” go together about as well as “macaroni” and “peanut butter.” If not downright oxymoronic, they’re at least highly incompatible, right?
Well, perhaps not.
So says London, which is kicking off its new, greener image in Spring 2019. The city will make every effort to become a true “wilderness” within the urban space, with park rangers and everything.
It has already started hyping the big transition, with a fair in July 2018 and a Walk for Wildlife that took place on September 22 of the same year. Once the winter passes, the city will celebrate its new identity with tours, activities and more.
The goal? To get citizens and visitors more invested in the idea of keeping the city green. Not just green-ish, with token ecology programs and rooftop gardens that shrivel once they’re implemented. But really green, green beyond the color, a green that sees right to the heart of what ecology really stands for.
Needless to say, we’re super into it.
Looking Toward the Future: An Example of Stewardship
One of the reasons this move is so exciting is that it brings stewardship into the limelight.
Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” The latter is an important point: We need to do more than just manage our urban spaces the way we would a pool or a hotel. We need to be careful and responsible with them, because they are in our care, and if we don’t ensure a space for the natural world in our cities – who will?
So, National Park Cities? We Say Hell Yes
The folks here at Ecogardens, at least, are firm believers in this idea.
I mean, we’re not saying London stole this idea from us, but we’re not not saying that either.
Whatever the case, we feel strongly that urban and natural environments can play nicely together. We believe that one day, they can intertwine so closely that we’ll stop seeing a distinction at all.
Instead, our cities will fully embrace the natural world. Sure, we’ll still leave lots of untouched wilderness for the animals that really need it … but our urban spaces? Well, perhaps on that day, they will all have become national park cities.
We can only hope, and in the meantime, do our part. If you want to learn more about what you can do, get in touch today.