The proposals developed by the Park represent an interesting opportunity to discover different aspects of a protected area in the internationally important mountainous area and at a short distance from the capital cities of Piedmont and Aosta Valley.
Thanks to its old establishment, the Gran Paradiso National Park boasts extensive knowledge of its natural ecosystem of the territory's history, representing an ideal outdoor educational workshop.
The spectrum of proposals ranges from more naturalistic themes to anthropological and historical ones, and they are all marked by stimulating the development of a critical sense in understanding the relationship with the environment and in awareness of responsible behaviour regarding precious environmental heritage.
The activities are carried out by educators, park interpreters, nature guides, park rangers trained in environmental education, and experts working for several years in the area. They are structured with actions in the classroom (for schools), excursions in the territory and practical activities in the countryside and in the various park structures (Environmental Education Centres, Visitor centres, laboratories ...). It also possible to construct ad hoc projects with teachers, to meet the specific needs of the class, while enhancing the experience and suggestions of the teachers.
The environmental education program includes both activities aimed at schools of all levels and grades, and proposals aimed at other interested users (groups, families, individuals). The proposals are implemented in conjunction with affiliated companies: Cesma, FourSeason, Fondation Grand Paradis and Habitat
Within the initiatives, environmentally friendly sports activities conducted by qualified personnel may also be incorporated, in order to foster an environmentally friendly approach.
Given the mountainous structure of the park territory, participation in educational activities is even possible for children with mild impairments, with the support of a teacher/guide, and for persons with mental disorders, accompanied by the support teacher.
The Park structures that house the activities
The proposed activities involve the use of various park structures:
- Environmental Education Centre of Noasca (TO), included in the Sistema Regionale Piemontese (Piedmont Regional System) for environmental education (Infea Network). It has a multi-purpose classroom equipped with facilities and collections for educational activities, a permanent exhibition on geomorphology and a residential facility with 56 beds (Hotel La cascata (The Waterfall));
- Environmental activities office La Stambeccaia, at Cogne (AO), historical structure of the park dedicated to popular science and environmental education;
- Visitor centre and Homo et ibex museum, at Ceresole Reale (TO), with an exhibition devoted to the relationship between man and the ibex throughout history and in art up to the present day, and a conference room.
- Visitor centres in Cogne, Rhêmes Notre Dame and Valsavarenche, included in the Aosta Valley regional system for environmental education (Infea Network), are respectively home to permanent exhibitions devoted to the relationship between man and environment, the return of the bearded vulture to the Park, and the predators in the protected area.