Environmental Recuperation and Infrastructures for Didactic Environmental Activities for Palo Wood

Project location: ITALY, Palo
Project start date: February 2007 - Project end date: February 2009
Project number: 2006-42
Beneficiary: WWF Italia

At the time of the project proposal, this large park was closed to the public. The owners limited their intervention to sick trees, and to maintaining the pathways accessible. The WWF wasn’t able to cover all the costs for the renovation and for opening the park to the public. This resulted in a state of abandonment of one of the most beautiful natural spots in Italy which kept the public away. The aim of the project funded by the Nando Peretti Foundation is to renovate and make this uncontaminated natural area accessible.
The following proposal was outlined: the WWF shall commodate the property free of charge for minimum 5 years. The WWF will manage the property. Costs that go beyond ordinary renovation of the park will be covered by the NPF, while ordinary costs will be covered by the owners of the property.

The project covers these measures:

- creation of pathways: the old paths that were created for didactic purposes are to be completely reconstructed. Part of the paths will be accessible to the disabled.

- educational material along the paths: once the paths are done, 15 information panels will be placed along the paths. 5000 leaflets containing information regarding the Oasis will be printed according to WWF standards.

- educational trips and secretary’s office: the secretary’s office will be open twice a week and there will be a person who organizes two environment education trips a week.

- construction of an information point: the old information point needs to be reconstructed. A log cabin with electricity, water and phone will be built. It will be fitted with everything necessary for office work (PC, fax-machine, etc.). This cabin will be used by the Oasis’ custodian.

- Technical consultants: the natural evolution of the wood will be monitored by professional scientists who will provide detailed reports and outline courses of action.

- Environmental improvement measures: specific measures to safeguard the humid habitat which is vital for many animal taxa. In particular, pools and ponds to improve the area’s bio-ecology. Many animals are, in fact, linked to the aquatic ecosystem and would benefit from the construction of these ponds.

- Project coordination and management: funds have been allocated to aid administrative costs faced by the national office to manage, run, and complete the project.

- Advertising and promotion: WWF Italy will promote and publicize the project.

- Forestry survey technical advice : technical inspections aimed at assessing changes in the  natural forest in order to initiate subsequent proposals for fruition. Detailed technical-scientific report.

The most urgent measures involve renovation of freshwater ponds for birds. Similar projects have been financed by the NPF and are essential to protect migratory birds. These old ponds are now dried up or salty, and are therefore useless to birds such as herons which were very common not too long ago. They shall be rebuilt watertight. They are essential for insects, turtles, frogs and toads and for water snakes.
The environmental impact will be very wide in that the entire population of migratory birds which fly over Lazio will be affected.
Once the wildlife has been taken care of, opening to the public will be organized. An information booth will be set up at the entrance of the park along the road that leads from San Nicola to Ladispoli. A prefabricated building made of wood will be fitted to host a park guardian. This is to avoid trespassing and to protect the area from wildlife that could upset the environment’s natural balance.
The NPF will cover the cost of building the log cabin, including the water system, a couple of restrooms, the information point, the ticket booth, a library, a bookstore with books on animals, and a meeting point with some benches to rest for a while.


Paths will be made accessible to disabled people.
Educational activities will be carried out for students, researchers and normal visitors, held by qualified WWF instructors.
The adjacent sea area will be also protected. Fishermen occupy the area all day, including people who gather mussels in the nearby harbor. Mussels are essential to the sea’s ecosystem, in that they clean the water feeding on organic waste. The natural reserve will prevent ships from coming too close, keeping fishermen and mussel gatherers away, under local municipality regulations.
A rock barrier on the sea bed to prevent boat access and filter water. The NPF will cover costs of the buoys including their maintenance, while the local municipality will manage surveillance.
According to Prof. Pratesi the park would become self-sustainable in less than three years, especially thanks to the unique opportunity in the Lazio Region to hike in the maritime reserve. A considerable number of people will certainly be more than happy to scuba dive in Roman ruins, the black rocks, the castle.

The park will be dedicated to the memory of Nando Peretti.

Expected Results

The Oasis’ renovation and the improvement of Palo’s wood is the main aim of the project funded by the Nando Peretti Foundation. WWF Italy will open the Oasis to the public according to WWF norms and regulations, and in accordance with the contract signed by the owners of the property.

WWF Italy has expressed the wish to investigate the possibility that this coastline be transformed in marine reserve, in accordance with Italian law.

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