Areas of interest
Biodiversity, Education


Geographical area
Kimolos, Paros

The challenge

The Cycladic ecosystem is home to plants which are rare, unique, and endemic. Others have healing effects and others are key ingredients of local culinary culture. Their preservation is a priority not only for the preservation of the rare nature itself, but also for local prosperity and culture.

The solution

By turning the schools into examples of environmentally friendly practices, and introducing nature into the direct environment of children, we aim to educate and inspire the community and the future generations.

Project’s deliverables

The “greening” of local schools began in 2019 with the creation of botanic gardens in selected islands, starting with Kimolos and Naoussa of Paros. Small botanic gardens of endemic plants were created in local schools. The school communities (students, parents, teachers) and local associations engaged in this process, learning more about the endemic plants and taking care of them. A number of seminars and environmental education activities about the added value of the native plants, their role in the ecosystem and the importance of their preservation, also took place in both islands.

Kimolos island

The project in Kimolos was carried out with the cooperation of the organisation “Agoni Grammi Gonimi”, that conducts educational projects in areas where children do not have access to the cultural and educational opportunities as children have in cities. The project included presentations and interactive activities with other external experts.

Check out the planting of the botanic schoolyard in Kimolos

Naoussa, Paros

The project in Paros was carried out with the cooperation of NAIAS, the Nautical Club of Naoussa Paros and the Friends of Paros Park association. It included the creation of a botanical garden with the most emblematic plants of the Cycladic flora and it was constructed together with the students and their teachers, so that it became their own affair, asset and responsibility.

As in any “proper” Botanical Garden, we installed signs with the common Greek name as well as the scientific name of the plants, identical with the signs being prepared for the Botanical Garden in progress inside the Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros. Additionally, we piloted the installation of an efficient composting system in the school that will provide organic fertiliser for the garden. Using the garden as a platform, the school children connect with similar initiatives across the Cyclades, with local farmers and beekeepers and also with environmental education groups and projects from anywhere in the country.

The most important outcome of this project was to familiarise young islanders with the native flora. The impact in the local community was quite high, since the project became known and “entered” into numerous households.

Young children are the professionals and decision makers of tomorrow, and only environmentally aware citizens can steer a community towards sustainable policies and practices.

Check out the planting of the botanic school garden in Paros

The project was supported by the Empiria Group.

We would like to thank Mr Giorgos Petrakis & Mrs Kalliopi Grammatikopoulou for the kind donation of the native plants and their general support to the project.

In Paros, the project was implemented in partnership with the “Friends of Paros Park association” and the Association of Parents of the Naoussa Elementary School

Project updates

In 2021 and 2022, the “Greening Schools” was scaled up into a CPF-led Program entitled  “Revegetating the Cyclades”, which you can read about here.

About the Grantee

Agoni Grammi Gonimi

The “Agoni Grammi Gonimi” (AGG) project is the largest educational and cultural programme aimed at those remote Greek islands which enjoy only limited connectivity with Greek urban centres during the winter season. Since 2007, over 100 cultural visits have taken place to 25 islands within the framework of the programme, which seeks to ensure equal access to education and culture for all, irrespective of location.

NAIAS, the Nautical Club of Naoussa Paros was formed in 2017, from active citizens of the wider area of Naoussa, with aim to preserve and promote the environmental and cultural identity and richness of the island, with an emphasis on the sea and a focus on younger generations.  It is based inside the Environmental and Cultural Park of Paros, a beneficiary and collaborator of the CPF, and has been working closely with the Park but also with many other local initiatives, to form a sustainable path to the development of the island. Naias has strong ties with the local community, and, through its numerous projects and initiatives is truly breaking new ground on the island, bringing forth the values of sustainability, conservation, local identity and collaboration.