Seems hard to believe that a place surrounded by flamingos, buffalos and rare bird species lies just less than an hour away from Thessaloniki, right? Axios Delta National Park is located 10 km away from the city, and is one of the most important wetland systems in Greece and in Europe.
United Societies of Balkans worked together with the National Park to organize a cleaning up activity, since the area is constantly surrounded by dirt and trash that comes from the rivers around it.
A team of 20 volunteers, both locals and internationals, gathered with the same main objective: spend the morning cleaning the area from different garbage that ends up there. According to Lia, who is in charge of the Management area of the Thermaic Gulf, where the Park is located, the collaboration of volunteers is needed to keep the space clean and safe. “This area has been used as a dumping space for many years, as it is so close to a big city like Thessaloniki”, she explained. “It will take time to change the mind of Greeks and make them understand that this needs to be protected”.
The truth is that this area is unknown for many locals, although it is a spot to find peace and serenity. One can sit and relax hearing the birds, or going up a viewpoint to admire a variety of rare species. However, its proximity to the Balkans big city, turned it into a place for people to throw many things, instead of heading to the proper recycling points.
The volunteers from Balkan Hotspot, the main volunteering media-lab project run by United Societies of Balkans, had the chance to discover the area thanks to the staff of Axios Delta and spread a message of sensibilization throughout our media channels. And, not only the joint outdoor activity had a positive impact on the environment, but also helped the participants get to know the surrounding areas that lie behind the second largest country of Greece.