Today’s Solutions: July 20, 2024

Across the United States, areas that were previously bloody battlefields are being turned into memorials and parks to recognize the violence that took place there and to offer a new purpose of life and recreation for these places.

There are 25 national battlefield and military parks in America which draw visitors intrigued by their historical significance and natural beauty. These parks serve as what scholars Smallwood and Lookingbill call places of “collateral value.” These are areas previously used for violence that are now repurposed for recreation, wildlife conservation, and pollution reduction.

For example, the land where the Battle of Gettysburg took place receives millions of visitors each year. Abroad, the trench warfare site of WWI in Verdun, France is now 25,000 acres of regenerated forest and Germany has turned the remnants of the Iron Curtain into conservation areas and trails which make up the European Green Belt initiative

Using these sites of great historical violence as conservation and regeneration areas not only serves to protect the environment but also serves as a symbol of healing and remembrance by repurposing these lands as areas of peace.

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