Parks and gardens are an optimal field for volunteering for cultural heritage. Since parks and gardens need a permanent maintenance there is a permanent need for support that can be provided also by volunteers without professional education in the field of heritage – after having gained a short introduction in the particular park or garden and an explanation about the necessary works.
Cultural heritage sites mostly consist of historical buildings, but are often surrounded by gardens or parks. Those are usually that component of a cultural heritage site that is most appropriate for volunteers’ interventions, and so a volunteering project in a garden or park may be the first step, the “door opener”, for a longer lasting and comprehensive cooperation with the heritage site management that can be later extended towards the historical building sites, too.
Also European Heritage Volunteers started its first cooperation in the field of volunteering with larger scale state authorities with projects in the field of maintenance and restoration of historical parks and gardens – with volunteering projects at the UNESCO World Heritage site “Classical Weimar”. The cooperation with Klassik Stiftung Weimar (Weimar Classic Foundation), the responsible site management administration, dates back to 2011 and had been in the meantime extended towards other fields, too, as traditional handcraft techniques, heritage education and heritage promotion.
For more than seven years European Heritage Volunteers developed the concept of volunteering at historical parks and gardens together with representatives of Klassik Stiftung Weimar and improved it from year to year so that the concept could be from 2017 on transferred to other heritage sites, too.
In 2018, European Heritage Volunteers will organise two projects dealing with restoration of historical parks and gardens: