Battlefields mark places of death and destruction all over the world. While they have a deep history of violence, they sometimes have a peaceful transformation many years down the road. These sites are often protected for their historical value and become parks and refuges. Many tourists make the journey to visit these sites for the history, but more and more often they are awed by the natural beauty of these parks. Most of the transformations began as unintentional occurrences, but there have been many positive results that have grown from these historical sites. 

Preservation and Conservation

Battlefields across the country are protected by federal and state laws to ensure proper upkeep, to encourage tourism, and to keep the memory of the past alive. The United States is certainly not alone in these efforts. The lands across the globe are considered public and are therefore areas of green that cannot be built upon or marred in any way. 

Some sites are forts that have stood for centuries and the surrounding lands are protected from construction. Others are areas of national forest that is protected from deforestation. By protecting the historical sites and the surrounding area from harm, countries are preserving green spaces that can serve as a reminder to preserve the nature around us and help others appreciate conservation efforts. 

Hope After Tragedy

One of the most ambitious of the plans to create green spaces out of tragic historical sites comes from the former Iron Curtain area of the former USSR. Previously a line of watchtowers, mines, and fences,  the countries are now cooperating to create something more peaceful and enduring than the tragedy that preceded it. The project has focused on creating a green border that both conserves nature and preserves the history in a unique way that will be remembered and show the power peace can ultimately have. 

The ecosystems of these protected areas all over the world provide crucial benefits for both humans and nature. Protected areas are in danger of being destroyed from development and other threats. By recognizing the benefits these protected areas can provide as a whole is a step forward to reducing degradation and the loss of more nature. While no one should forget the conflicts that preceded an area, more should focus on developing these spaces into natural habitats, so they can be enjoyed by people and wildlife for years to come.