On Sunday, July 3, the inauguration of the Plantation Park in Kardia was held by the mayor Thermis Theodoros Papadopoulos. It is a model Park, unique in Greece, which houses a thousand plants from 70 plant species that do not exist in commerce, but are domesticated plants, which were collected in botanical expeditions and came from wild species of the wider area of Macedonia and the northern borders of the country. The Biodiversity Park is also a place of recreation since it also has a playground, while soon, as the mayor of Thermi pointed out, it will become a place – a place of learning as it will be connected to the Environmental Education Center in Livadi so that they cannot visit schools from the municipality Thermi and other areas.
In his statement in the context of the inauguration, Mr. Papadopoulos emphasized that “today we are inaugurating the Plantation Park in which there are many endangered plants, which are preserved and there is their reproductive material through which an attempt is made to reproduce them. At the same time, the Park is a tool for teachers, in conjunction with the Environmental Education Center of Eastern Thessaloniki, which operates as it is known in Thermi and specifically in the mountainous Livadi”.
The president of the Kardia Community Joakeim Trikaliaris emphasized that “the Park is a jewel not only for the Kardia, but for the wider area” and appealed to everyone to contribute to the effort to protect it from vandalism: “It is important that each one of the family of the area, each child playing and each parent or even each group or visitor to put the Park under their protection and with the individual responsibility to preserve the area and the plants”.
The external partner of ELGO DIMITRA, landscape architect, agronomist, Marina Panagiotidou, who was responsible for supervising its construction, noted that the Park should function as a tool for environmental education. “Due to the pandemic, we have not yet been able to put this into practice. However, we hope to bring our schools to meet rare, endangered plants that are difficult to reach in nature. We invite the local community and neighboring municipalities to bring the children here to learn about the plants of Greek nature and to protect the environment.” Afterwards, Mrs. Panagiotidou guided all the attendees around the Park and explained the importance and the rarity of the plants housed in it.
In the context of yesterday’s ceremony, both the mayor and the president of the Heart Community expressed warm thanks to Dr. Eleni Maloupa, Director of Research & Project Coordinator from the Institute of Plant Reproduction and Genetic Resources, as well as to all the great scientific and technical staff of the Institute, initially for the proposal she made to the Municipality of Thermi to create this park, but also for the their excellent work in the implementation stage. In fact, Mrs. Maloupa, as the national representative of the Greek Botanical Gardens in Europe, presented the Cardia Plantation Park at the 9th Congress of the Botanical Gardens of Europe last May, making it known worldwide.
Warm thanks were also expressed to Mrs. Panagiotidou for her tireless efforts to create this unique Park in the municipality of Thermi. The opening of the Park was attended by the Deputy Mayors Apostolos Tsolakis, Stylianos Apostolou, Argyris Moraitis and Konstantinos Kougioumtzidis, and ordinary citizens who were guided around the Park.
The Biodiversity Park is part of the CONSE PP project, which is used in the framework of the Cross-Border Cooperation Program INTERREG IPA CBC “Greece-Albania 2014-2020”.
At the same time, on Sunday, July 3, the Results Presentation Report of the Artistic and Design Competition of the “Conse-pp” project was presented. The event took place in the hall of the Spiritual Center I.N. Nativity of the Mother of God, where the visitors had the opportunity to see the works that were distinguished as well as all the works that were submitted to the two competitions:
- Artistic Competition entitled: “Graffiti Green Parks”, which aimed to find original creative graffiti art works, to highlight and promote priority plants in the modern urban environment,
- Distinctive Competition entitled: “Your own biodiversity plants pot”, which aimed to find innovative alternative initiatives for the protection and mainly for the increase of small green countries in the modern urban environment through the design of a standard “biodiversity plant pot/flower bed”.
At the ceremony that preceded it at the Spiritual Center, the mayor of Thermi awarded the students Katerina Ermeidou, Lydia Vlasakidou and the student Theofani Hatziiordanou of the 3rd grade of the 3rd Gymnasium of Mikras, who spoke of their guidance as a friend. Paraskevis Gatsia, won the 1st Prize in the Website category in the Panhellenic competition with the theme: Pontic Hellenism – memories and dreams, past, present and future. The competition was organized by the Directorate of Primary Education of Serres, the Ministry of the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace) and the Department of Educational Radio, Television and Digital Media of the Ministry of Education and Culture, under the auspices of the Greek section of UNESCO and with the support of UNESCO. AUTH and the Panhellenic Association of Pontian Teachers. The competition involved a total of 91 primary and secondary schools, general and special education, from Greece, Cyprus and the diaspora (Australia), approximately 6,000 students, 260 teachers and 740 mathematical creators in various categories.
Mr. Papadopoulos congratulated the three children for the special zeal they showed and dealt with both the History of Pontic Hellenism and the Genocide, as well as technology issues, after they proceeded to create the Website. “Congratulations are due to the children and their teacher, who, despite the really adverse conditions we all experienced in the previous two years, not only participated, but also distinguished themselves in this special competition for the history of our country.” It should be noted that the address of the page created by the group is called “Point-Right to Memory”, with professor K. Fotiadis as its godfather.