The rapid development of the island of Crete has had a very serious impact on its ecology. Very few areas are left untouched by the expanding population and influx of tourists. Even in the mountains and higher elevations, one can see the destruction of much of Crete’s native animals and their habitats. If expansion continues at this rapid pace – and indications are that it will – in a short span of time there will be little left of Crete’s pristine environment and wildlife.
To preserve a piece of this unique habitat and the wildlife it supports, the Polytechnical School, under the leadership of its past Rector Professor Yiannis Phillis, set aside 300 acres of land in the midst of Acrotiri for the purpose of creating a Botanical Park. The official name of this “green space” is the Park for the Preservation of Flora and Fauna of the Technical University of Crete.
The Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) has since supported this important effort financially by donating, over the years, more than $150,000. The Botanical Park is still in its infancy; however, in another 10 to 15 years the full beauty of Botanical Park will be realized. Hopefully, it will act as an inspiration and a beacon for environmentalists, professors and their students, tourists, and also locals of the region who simply wish to enjoy the rough beauty of nature which was, at one time, prolific in Crete.