EcoParque is a center of environmental education and applied research of the Municipality of Peñalolén in alliance with the Adolfo Ibáñez University, financed by the joint coordination of the three large companies Copec, Aguas Andinas and Metrogas. All these actors together make up EcoParque and allow a unique and innovative management-economic model that provides a space of collaboration and knowledge, being a contribution for the community, companies, university and the environment.
EcoParque is a formative, recreational, demonstrative and research experience designed to promote the development of environmental education, as well as learning and understanding of the environment in visitors, through an integrated system of related environmental technologies and practices capable of To be complemented in a model of sustainable, integral and capable of minimizing the impacts on the environment through the promotion of behavioral changes in the population. EcoParque exemplifies complex concepts, interrelated to basic everyday needs, such as energy efficiency, urban circular metabolism, carbon footprint, global warming, water footprint, among others. This initiative is a reference for the integrated management of good environmental practices, setting a precedent in local environmental management at national and Latin American level. For its creation an alliance was made with the Adolfo Ibáñez University in order to design a place in which the school community and residents of Peñalolén could find a space that allowed to discover, to experiment and to learn the different techniques of environmental management and of energy efficiency that Integrate into their lives.
EcoParque, encompasses the concepts of environmental matter and efficient use of energy under the logic of circular metabolism, incorporating as a fundamental aspect the user experience through an organic circuit and with demonstrative and applied modules. In addition, EcoParque is not a static experience, since incorporating research and development, carried out by the university, allows the system to evolve and incorporate new knowledge and technologies, adapting to the new needs demanded by the environment.
EcoParque Peñalolén-UAI is a successful and pioneering example of a public-private alliance, which has several modules, among which the laboratories, biodiesel generation unit, biodigestor, organic vegetable garden, nursery, vermiculture and composting stand out. At EcoParque, waste is transformed into fuel and valuable inputs for the commune, which makes it possible to generate a valorization of these same ones. On the other hand it has allowed the UAI to count on a space of experimentation and to achieve to be linked with the community where it is inserted, generating value for its educational entity. In addition, the generation of knowledge and the transfer of knowledge to the community allow the creation of social and environmental value that contribute to the sustainable development of the commune, in addition to generating a learning network, which allows visitors to transmit what they have learned to their community, increasing As EcoParque takes on strength.
For the companies that financed the initiative, it has been an opportunity to show their commitment to the environment and strengthen their relationship with the community and allowing workers and their families access to a participatory learning space. In parallel, this model is presented as an opportunity for development with other companies that seek to generate environmental compensation and deliver a service to the community, further strengthening the EcoParque project.
Finally, to this day, a year after its inauguration, this initiative has involved 2,000 visitors and more than 40 institutions, highlighting with recognitions such as the National Environment Award in the Sustainable Culture Promotion category, generating a Network of education that is transmitted and powered day by day.
Programs for Implementing the Curriculum:
EcoParque has a team of municipal staff and the academic support of the Adolfo Ibáñez University, which have allowed the generation of diverse education and training strategies around the energy theme, addressing issues such as efficient use of resources, generation Of fuels from waste and the relationship between energy consumption and climate change.
The different educational programs are delivered in a practical and didactic way, using methodologies that encourage participation and dialogue between those involved. To this end, the municipality monthly publishes through the local newspaper, web platform and social networks an offer of courses and workshops, aimed at generating capacities in the community that allows the community of Peñalolén to advance to be a sustainable community.
These courses have prioritized face-to-face education to stimulate direct contact with the objects of study and the exchange of knowledge among those involved. In these classes, practical activities are carried out in laboratories and in the open air, where research is also facilitated by providing tools, equipment and laboratories. In this way the participants become involved and feel part of the activity, making what is learned is more effective and generates a change of perception in the people, which lasts in time.
On the other hand, one of the main components is the alliance with the Adolfo Ibáñez University, where teachers, researchers and students can access a space specially designed for the development of their knowledge. In this line, they emphasize the possibility of carrying out professional practices, research and complement concepts seen in the classroom, contrasting them with practical experience, essential for an overall understanding of the processes.