Parque Florestal de Monsanto
DMAEV-DEV Divisao de Matas, Lisboa, Lisboa
Phone: +35 12 13 61 44 00 - Fax: +35 12 13 62 78 65
Surface: 900 ha - Population: 2,5 millions residents
Number of municipalities:
Parque Florestal de Monsanto
Organisme gestionnaire: Dept. de Ambiente e Espaços Verdes, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

The park is located in the Southwest part of Lisbon, occupying one of the seven Lisbon's hills, the one that gives his name to the park - Monsanto.

Here we are almost in the centre of the city, only 15 min away by bus, it is also a very important scenic feature for those who cross the Tagus river and those who work everyday in the city.

This is a very young periurban park, it has only 66 years, since the first plantations begun in 1934 in the deforested Monsanto's hills. The first thoughts began as earlier as 1888 with the idea of copying some similar parks around Europe and to provide providing a closer source of wood, for energy purposes, to the demanding city of Lisbon. These first ideas took importance and gave birth to dense woods, with some recreational facilities, viewpoints, tracks and restaurants.

Nowadays, the City Council through its Environment Department had defined a new document, which emphasises new concepts in planning and management that improves the awareness of the ecological importance of the park and looks forward to improve the sustainable use by the people.
A new identity
The major problem that we had to deal with, is the global image of the park for Lisbon's citizens. This image is quite blurred due to several years of lack of interest by the administration and to its reputation of supporting marginal activities.

This has been overcomed by creating a corporate image based on the presence of the introduced red squirrel.
Some new tools
Other major problems refers to the lack of information available to people. The park should support the increasing need of public use of the park in terms of outdoors recreational and educational activities.
Making nature better
Monsanto' Forestry Park is not a natural park. There aren't any important regional or national ecological features. Nevertheless, its importance at local level, its 1 000 ha of heavily forested areas in the centre of the city, and its role as a site for the establishment of a natural "continuum" with several other Nature Reserves and Parks in the Metropolitan area of Lisbon, makes it quite important at city and regional level.

It is also an excellent laboratory for fieldwork on evolving Mediterranean ecosystems on Environmental Education schemes, at any level.