Milan’s suburban natural areas are home to a little-known biodiversity that plays an important role in the well-being of its citizens. The project aims to enhance the natural areas around Corsico and Paderno Dugnano and the animal and plant species that populate them through a training action involving teachers, students, parents, local authorities and private citizens
Two schools involved
721 boys and girls trained
Some of the areas in the province of Milan have maintained their ecosystems despite the growing urban pressure. These are the high dry plain to the north and the low water-plain to the south. Focusing on these two habitats, specifically those around Paderno Dugnano and Corsico, the project aims at training teachers, students, local authorities and private citizens.
he territory of Paderno Dugnano is located at the heart of the Grugnotorto Villoresi and Brianza Centrale (GruBrìa) park, a limited area used for agriculture and vegetable gardens featuring canals, ponds, small woods, oases, rows of trees, hills and cycling and pedestrian paths that has managed to keep construction at bay.
The territory of Corsico, on the other hand, is located within the South Milan Rural Park, Milan’s largest regional park. Shaped like a semi-circle around Milan, the park is connected to the Ticino Park to the west, and the Adda Park to the east. In this southern part of the city, the characteristics of the Po Valley – intensive agriculture dating back to the first medieval land reclamations and a great wealth of natural waterways, artificial canals, water troughs and protected areas – can be identified. Land cultivated with corn alternate with water-meadows, rows of trees drawing the fields’ boundaries and running along the waterways. The entire territory is dotted with abbeys and castles, ancient farmhouses and key rural areas, as well as wooded areas and naturalistic oases. The fauna is mostly concentrated in the park’s natural areas.
Local communities do not however know much about these natural environments, and the opportunities to protect this collective heritage are few. The project aims to fill this shortfall, starting from schools. Over the years, Paderno Dugnano’s Allende Comprehensive Institute (31 primary classes, 21 secondary classes, 8 pre-school classes) has been showing environmental sensitivity thanks to a group of teachers focused on improving the environmental impact of schools through waste collection and energy saving. The group has also set up primary school educational gardens and an outdoor classroom.
Strong environmental awareness has also been shown by Corsico’s the Curiel Comprehensive Institute, where teachers, auxiliary staff, representatives of the administration and external bodies engaged in improving the environmental impact of schools have launched projects for the separate collection of waste and caps (with proceeds being used to support the Trezzano kennel), the creative reuse of waste materials, tackling food waste, and studying the school gardens’ flora and fauna.
The project will involve a total of 21 primary school classes and 13 first grade secondary school classes. The goal is to spread greater knowledge on the ecosystems surrounding Milan, so that they can be cared for.
The first step involves investigating the territory, observing green and blue areas, and collecting data on flora and fauna from school gardens and city parks, which is still a little-studied topic in
Milan’s metropolitan area. The results will then guide conservation interventions – planting flowers and creating shelters for birds and ponds in the gardens of some schools.
In addition to schools, parents, local authorities and private citizens are also called to take part in these activities with first-hand contributions on the observation and implementation of the interventions under the guidance of experts through a training and participation course.
To conclude and give an account of the process, a work of public art will be created in collaboration with an artist, which will enhance the city making it more colourful and will also convey the positive values of respect for and enhancement of nature to citizens.
The project proposes to achieve the following concrete results during the 2022/2023 school year:
Just one step away from me
Silvia Jelmini, email@example.com
semptember 2023 – june 2024
Ic Allende di Paderno Dugnano, Ic Copernico di Corsico, Guardie ecologiche volontarie della Città metropolitana di Milano, Gruppo naturalistico della Brianza, Api cesarine, Dispar naturaliste di GuardaMi
Support an educational outing in the parks
Fund an hour of teacher training
Contribute to the creation of a vegetable garden
Help to create a work of art