Being born is not enough.
It is for rebirth that we are born.
The Park of Remembrance has been designed, created, and managed by the Agroecology Desk of Calci, in tribute to the commitment of the many volunteers who became active following the devastating fire that struck this area in September 2018. It is a place of memory and education for the culture of sustainability, in continuous development, accessible to both the local community and occasional visitors, where traditional agricultural practices and the natural elements characteristic of this territory coexist.
On Monday, September 24, 2018, around 10:00 PM, within a dense forest of maritime pine, near the locality of Le Porte in the municipality of Calci, the largest fire in Tuscany in the last 25 years broke out. Fueled by strong north-east winds, steep slopes, continuous forest cover, and a significant amount of dry biomass mainly composed of resin-rich pine trees that are highly flammable, the fire spread rapidly southwestward, covering an area of 1,148 hectares in less than two days, distributed as follows: 832 hectares in the municipality of Calci, 298 hectares in the municipality of Vicopisano, and 18 hectares in the municipality of Buti. 700 people were evacuated, and 11 houses were affected, 5 of which were completely destroyed. The fire was extinguished thanks to the intervention of 580 teams from the Regional Firefighting Organization for a total of 1,350 people involved, including volunteers and forest workers.
A PLACE OF THE HEART
All the inhabitants of the areas affected by the fire, local authorities, local associations, and numerous individuals from surrounding areas immediately mobilized to manage the damages caused by the fire, prioritizing the restoration of the hydrographic network to reduce the risks of instability often associated with forest fires. Among the various initiatives implemented to assist the Monte Pisano area, the extraordinary commitment of the “Insieme per Monte Pisano” Committee is worth mentioning. They collected signatures for the ninth census of the places of the heart organized by the Italian Environmental Fund (FAI). In just over two months, Monte Pisano received a remarkable 114,670 votes, securing the top position in the FAI census with the highest number of votes ever recorded. This allowed the municipalities of Calci and Vicopisano to receive a contribution of 55,000 euros, supported by FAI and Intesa Sanpaolo, to co-finance the purchase of a forestry vehicle, crucial for managing and maintaining the paths and firebreak roads of Monte Pisano.
Watch the video “Monte Pisano Luogo del Cuore sostenuto dal FAI”
THE IDEA OF A PARK
The idea of creating a park on land affected by the fire came from Sirio Bonanni (pictured), who identified the suitable location and created an initial sketch. Sirio chose a terraced terrain with dry stone walls and splendid exposed rocks, covering approximately half a hectare, located on the Pisan side of Monte Pisano in Montemagno, a small hillside village in the municipality of Calci. With the project “Eco-Park of Remembrance: a project of active citizenship,” co-financed by the Pisa Foundation and carried out by the Agroecology Desk of Calci in collaboration with the Municipality of Calci, the Museum of Natural History, and the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa, Sirio’s idea has become a reality!
THE CREATION OF A PARK
The realization of the Park required over two years of work by the volunteers of the Agroecology Desk of Calci. The land was cleared of burnt logs, brambles, and other invasive plants that had taken over. Some of the burnt logs were reused to define the flowerbeds with shrubs, reinforce the steps and walls, and create woodpiles, excellent shelters for many small animals. The dry stone walls were restored, and the drainage system was re-established. A path with steps was created to allow passage from one terrace to another. The olive trees were thinned, pruned, and spaced to restore the characteristics of a productive olive grove. The laurel trees, likely introduced by humans in the past, were reduced in number, pruned, and shaped. In accordance with agroecological principles, the meadows were maintained as close as possible to their natural conditions; invasive alien species were uprooted, and various native plant species from Monte Pisano were introduced to increase the park’s plant biodiversity: holm oaks, evergreen oaks, downy oaks, strawberry trees, red rockroses, wild roses, brooms, honeysuckles, lavenders… Lastly, to make the park more comfortable, three benches and a pergola with a picnic table were added.
THE PARK’S MASCOT
The small phoenix MIRTA, designed by Silvia Pasqualetti, is the mascot of the Park and will guide children in discovering the historical and natural riches of this area. The panels were created to allow dual reading: the upper part for adults and the lower part for children.
THE AGROECOLOGY DESK OF CALCI
The Desk is an association for social promotion composed of volunteers, including a group of experts, affiliated with active local associations such as InFestanti, EcoLato Comune, Dèi Camminanti, Feronia, and the Volunteer Firefighting Group. All entities share the objectives of the Desk and collaborate to achieve them. One of the slogans of the Desk is “Information for the care of the environment and the mountain,” a phrase that encapsulates the three fundamental tasks of the Desk:
- Informing through expert opinions about sustainable practices for Monte Pisano,
- Educating through sharing moments about agroecology and these practices,
- Carrying out concrete actions.
These tasks are aimed at building a community culture of local sustainability based on the principles of agroecology, following a strategy of circular economy, without polluting or degrading the environment, while preserving biodiversity. If you are interested in contributing to the management of the Park or participating in initiatives within it, you can directly contact the Desk:
The Agroecology Desk of Calci extends its gratitude for the materials and information provided and for the text revision to Paolo Barberi, Andrea Bertacchi, Fabio Caporali, Fabio Casella, Marco Dellacasa, Chiara Frassi, Benedetto Gatti, Roberto Narducci, Francesca Pisseri, Luca Puglisi, Francesco Verdigi, Marco A. L. Zuffi.