Parque das Dunas (Dunas Park)

Considered the second largest State Urban Park in the country, the Conservation Unit currently has an average of 8,500 visits per month. In addition to these regulars, mostly children and adolescents, the site has a register with 6,500 Cooper practitioners. In the last two years, more than 2,320 institutions carried out in the Park school activities aimed at the practice of Environmental Education.

The Park das Dunas has increased its number of visits to the Bosque dos Namorados (Public Use Area of the Park) in the past few years, providing infrastructure for scientific research, environmental education, leisure, culture and ecological tourism. According to the unit's administrators, much of the Park's current success is a result of the state government's investment - through IDEMA / RN - carried out in 2006, when the Unit underwent an extensive revitalization project, where approximately 1 Million reais.

 "The renovation has provided greater quality and comfort for Park users, making it one of the most modern in the world. The revitalization made the use of the area of public use of the Park no longer a purely contemplative area, opening space for the practice of educational, physical, artistic and cultural activities. The growing demand from users confirms the benefits generated by the reform, "analyzes biologist Mary Sorage, administrator of the Parque das Dunas.

In a constant process of improvements in structure and preservation, the Park administration rebuilt the fence that delimits the area of the Unit along the entire Coastal Way and expanded the storage capacity of the native seedling nursery from 3,000 to 16,000 Seedlings This action is of paramount importance for works aimed at the recovery of degraded areas. Besides these actions, the Park has been recovering the existing herbarium and expanding its collection.

Considering that Parque das Dunas occupies an area inserted between several districts of the city, its managers have been carrying out environmental education activities with the surrounding community. In addition, the Unit has been supporting several researches conducted by UFRN, UnP and Facex on the fauna and flora of the Unit.

Daily, the Park offers yoga and tai chi chuan classes, plus hiking, jogging, and walking trails oriented. At weekends, special programs are held with theater and various games - in addition to the renowned musical project "Som da Mata", which has already provided more than one hundred musical performances. Until the month of June, the park's administration foresees the installation of new toys and the asphaltic recapture of the Bosque ring road.

Parque das Dunas is the first Environmental Conservation Unit located in the State of Rio Grande do Norte. Created in 1977, the Park is located in Natal and occupies an area of 1,172 ha, between the neighborhoods of Mãe Luiza, Capim Macio and Ponta Negra, extending along the Coastal Highway.

Parque das Dunas is an area of vital importance for the quality of life of the population of Natal. The dunes are responsible for the feedback and protection of the underground water table that supplies part of Christmas. The fixing vegetation of the dunes prevents the sands from moving by the wind, burying urbanized areas, besides contributing to soften the climate of the city.

The flora of the unit is represented by more than 250 native species. The beautiful landscapes that follow each other on the dunes, with their great diversity of animals and plants, provide visuals of extreme beauty.

Through the preservation of this ecosystem, present and future generations will have the opportunity to know the native fauna and flora, with some species already in the process of extinction. The Parque das Dunas is considered an Outpost of the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve.