Virtual tour of Envigado

Welcome to Envigado!

The city of Envigado is a pioneer in the conservation of (peri)urban ecosystems in Colombia, and widely recognized for its Local System of Protected Areas (SILAPE). Through this system, 40% of its territory (equivalent to 3,299 hectares) has been designated as a protected area, facilitating the conservation of strategic ecosystems, forests and water tributaries of special importance for the municipality’s ecological connectivity.

These areas are home to important species of wildlife, including: “tigrillo lanudo” oncillas (Leopardus tigrinus), pumas, tayras, “paisa” frog, wood foxes, opossums, marmosas, “cacique candela” (red-bellied grackle) among others. They also provide a space for environmental education and the connection of citizens with nature, through various programs led by the Secretary of Environment and Agricultural Development of the municipality.

Beyond these local measures, Envigado also leads efforts, together with ten neighboring municipalities, to protect important ecosystems in the region through the definition and connectivity of a network of local protected areas, the Metropolitan Green Belt and the implementation of regional watershed management plans.

We invite you to virtually explore some of the sites that we will visit during this event, and learn through them about the initiatives and policies implemented by this municipality, a member of the INTERLACE project and a leader in the restoration of urban and peri-urban ecosystems in the region.

SILAPE - “Corredor del Tigrillo” Area

The municipality of Envigado formed the Envigado Local System of Protected Areas (SILAPE) through Agreement No. 009 (March 16, 2016), as a strategy for disaster prevention, adaptation to climate change, conservation of biodiversity and its ecosystem services, as well as regional integrity, maintaining connectivity between the surrounding forests, mostly rural, and the well-being of populations and human settlements.

Within the framework of the Local System of Protected Areas of Envigado, four core reserve areas have been designated, covering 3,299 hectares of the urban and rural territory of the municipality. Within these, different wildlife monitoring activities are carried out, through non-invasive methods using photodetection cameras, allowing the identification, presence, distribution of species and other ecological aspects indicative of the adequate ecological state of the ecosystems. This monitoring in turn allows the adaptation and implementation of specific conservation strategies to mitigate existing threats and generate management mechanisms, ecological connectivity and improvement of forests and vegetation covers for critical species in the territory.

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“El Trianón” Wetland

This wetland, covering an area of 3.57 hectares just 1200 meters away from the central park of Envigado, is part - along with the “La Heliodora” park described below - of the first urban protected area of the municipality, declared in 2019 after several years of joint activities between environmental and community leaders, the municipality of Envigado, the Alexander von Humboldt Research Institute, and the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá valley.

The wetland provides shelter to numerous species of migratory birds, both migratory and local, such as the “cacique candela” (red-bellied grackle - vulnerable to extinction), the “currucutú” (tropical screech owl), striped owl, “guardacaminos” (rufous nightjar), great kiskadee, azulejo (Thraupis episcopus), black-billed thrush, and many others. Every year, the municipality carries out maintenance of invasive species, such as the so-called elephant grass, which has been colonizing part of the wetland, and plants native species to improve the conditions of the wetland.

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La Heliodora Linear Environmental Park

This park is an example of urban management with consideration for biodiversity, existing ecosystems and citizens. It is one of the main achievements and references of urban functional nature, with a protected area of 23 Ha, and multiple functions at the level of biodiversity management, environmental education and provision of various ecosystem services.

The park is considered a strategic ecosystem for the municipality and requires special attention given the urban interventions that are generated in its surroundings, which have brought with them an increase in pollution levels due to the discharge of solid waste and wastewater.

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Envigado’s “Cerro Tutelar”

The “Cerro Tutelar” (guardian hill) of Envigado is an area that was recently (2019) integrated into the urban land of the municipality under the category of protection land. This has motivated and provided the opportunity to articulate efforts between the municipal administration and the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley, giving way to the generation of technical and legal studies for its declaration as a protected areas on urban land, expanding the existing areas integrated by the La Heliodora Linear Park and the Trianón Wetland.

This initiative, like other conservation strategies, seeks to demonstrate the ecosystem potential and the need to guarantee the supply of ecosystem goods and services to respond to urban and rural challenges on aspects such as public health and human well-being. As well as to ensure the continuity of the biological processes that allow the survival of communities and populations of species of fauna and flora that make up local and regional biodiversity, and the possibility of responding through adaptation and mitigation actions to the adverse effects of climate change.

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Envigado Florece

“Envigado Florece” is a municipal program that encourages the transformation of hard areas into soft areas through the planting of native and ornamental plant species. The green areas are designed and managed in a participatory manner so that they last over time, since it is the citizens and the communities who are responsible for their maintenance and conservation under the concept of co-responsibility. The plantings implemented include functional gardens (edible, ornamental and aromatic) as well as tree species, which in turn help to reduce the heat island effect and improve bioclimatic comfort.

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El Salado Ecological Park

The El Salado Ecological Park is located just 5 km from the urban center of Envigado, and offers an oasis where citizens can get closer to nature. The park includes part of the La Ayurá stream, which is the main structuring water tributary of Envigado’s territory, providing an important space for the recognition and appropriation by citizens of this important water corridor.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, bird watching, and nature photography. The waters of the Ayurá stream flow from its source in the mountains and provide an excellent location for swimming and relaxing. In addition to offering a recreation space in the middle of nature and hosting various environmental education programs and activities, the ecological park provides a home for wildlife and plays a vital role in protecting the stream that runs through the municipality.

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Quebrada La Ayurá - Natural and Cultural Heritage of Envigado

The La Ayurá micro-basin is the main structuring water tributary of Envigado. It has an area of 38.14 km2, which represents 48.4% of the total municipal territory. It encompasses both urban and rural areas, and is seen as a critical green infrastructure that contributes to the physical stability and ecological sustainability of the municipality. Furthermore, the “Quebrada La Ayurá” is not only important for its biotic component but also for its historical and symbolic importance, which has led to it being declared a Natural and Cultural Heritage of the municipality. 

The stream was important in the 19th century as the axis of the “ancestral roads”  that connected the Aburrá Valley with the east and southwest of Antioquia, used by muleteers, small merchants and farmers. On the other hand, we find how around this tributary, a series of stories, myths and legends have been generated as a fundamental part of oral expression, multiplying generation after generation, reflecting the beliefs and ideologies of a society, and at the same time shaping local traditions which are part of the culture of the municipality, closely linked to the territory in which it has evolved.

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Discover other initiatives and governance tools used by the municipality of Envigado in the INTERLACE Urban Governance Atlas.

Explore the practices of other member cities of the Cities for Nature community of practice in our virtual exhibition.