Vacaresti Nature Park – an oasis in Bucharest city

The Vacaresti Nature Park is a wetland, formed on the site of a hydrotechnical project commenced by the Communist regime in 1986 and left unfinished. The area is located in Bucharest, 4 km away from the city center. It spreads over a surface of 183 hectares.

The observations and studies that have been developed for biodiversity assessment purposes since 2007 highlighted the area’s natural value. The Romanian Academy, the most significant scientific institution of Romania, favorably endorsed the Substantiation Note filed in 2013 in view of having a protection regime implemented.

From a natural point of view, the area is accessible especially to birds – over 90 bird species come to Vacaresti, mostly water species – herons, egrets, cormorants, mallards and wild geese (ferruginous ducks). Apart from the birds, we should also mention small mammals such as muskrats, foxes and weasels. We should add interesting species of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. 5 otters – a species that is protected at European level – have been spotted. The presence of the otter is the best indicator of the Vacaresti ecosystem’s quality.

Apart from natural species and habitats, the area also offers a magnificent landscape and a very interesting contrast between the urban, anthropized area and the natural wetland with expanses of reed, swamps and wetland-specific trees and vegetation.

In a visit to Vacaresti in the summer of 2012, Tobias Salathe, RAMSAR Senior Adviser for Europe, declared: “Văcărești will undoubtedly be one of the most innovative urban wetland projects in the world”.

The Vacaresti Nature Park has been approved as nature park by a Government Decision in may 2016. The Vacaresti Nature Park Association is in charge of Vacaresti Nature Park’s establishment process and is actively involved in engineering the area’s future management.

More info at: Dan Barbulescu, Director, Vacaresti Natural Park Association, dan@parcnaturalvacaresti.ro