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Halkidiki: “Hippocampus Park” in Stratoni built by volunteers

Dedicated to the seahorse and its marine colony that was discovered 16 years ago, this is the park that volunteers built in Stratoni, Halkidiki, wanting to contribute to the protection of the species, but also to the highlighting of the local area.

The “Hippocampus Park” will be officially opened tomorrow, Friday, June 23, at 6 pm, by the non-profit organisation “United Societies of the Balkans”, the organisation Aristo Tales and the municipality of Aristoteli. The construction of the park is the work of volunteers from Greece and the rest of Europe, who collaborated in the village of Stratoni, through the European Solidarity Corps, a subsidised voluntary program co-financed by the European Union.

The conception of the idea for its creation comes from the fact that Stratoni itself is known for the only seahorse colony in Greece, which was discovered in 2007. The park has been built with ecological construction and hosts workshops for children and young people, informative activities for all, events and activities to promote the cultural, environmental and natural wealth of the village.

“In the area located near the beach, an open tunnel has been built, where photos from the history of the village are exhibited, there is a kiosk with information about the seahorse and an information booth about the 16 villages of the municipality of Aristoteli” explains the president of the organisation “United Societies of the Balkans” Aris Paraschou, to the Athens Macedonian News Agency.

In the park, activities and games will be organised for children on the theme of the seahorse, by volunteers who will operate and maintain the space throughout the year as the non-profit organisation “United Societies of the Balkans” implements various programs, with funding from Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps of the European Union.

“This year we are implementing 9 programs, in which 500 volunteers participate, who are hosted at the former apprenticeship school of the Manpower Employment Agency in Stratoni,” says Mr. Paraschou.

In fact, the volunteers who have flooded the area in recent years have helped in the regeneration of Stratoni, a village of about 1,300 people known for its mining, with various actions including clean-ups, painting walls, even collecting books to create a lending library.