Nature in the city
Even such a fertile seed bed, needs a helping hand. The Parks and Gardens department has 92 staff and 13 apprentices working day after day to make each natural, urban space a "living place" in every sense of the word. The diversity of plants on display, the design of annual or perennial flower beds, the various rest spots and leisure facilities all create an awareness of the beauty and benefit that these living spaces are to society. However, this is not enough. In order to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of plant life, continued innvoation is required. The extensive nature of the green events programme puts the city of Nancy among the most active stakeholders in this area. For over thirty years, an annual temporary garden has been installed in Place Stanislas, receiving more than 435,000 visitors. There are two major plant markets "Nature en fête" (Nature Festival) and "Pépinière en vert" (Green Nursery), which are popular among professionals and amateurs alike. "Embranchements" (Branches) is the name of the international tree event. "Mardis aux serres" (Greenhouse Tuesdays) and "Cuisine sous serre" (Greenhouse Cooking) are events where residents can learn to grow plants and cook with professionals. Nancy's gardeners can be seen as mediators, advocates of good ecological practices and ambassadors for biodiversity. They are essential to a 21st-century city.
People often need benchmarks or labels to have confidence in the validity of a project. The national Ecojardin (Ecogarden) award acknowledges ecological commitment. Taking action for biodiversity begins with tending to all natural spaces without using pesticides, which has been done here since 2005, and continues with respecting living things and their biotope. 150 Ecojardin "check points" are guidelines which promote excellence in ecological management. Here, once again, the guidelines encourage even more steps to be taken. New partnerships with the region's universities and research centres such as Université de Lorraine, Engref AgroParisTech, INRA and ONF among others, has led to the creation of "open-air laboratories" in Nancy's parks and gardens, transforming them into urban scientific research sites.