The green areas play a significant role in keeping the urban population healthy. Consequently, there has been a growing interest in the urban and peri-urban parks lately. The Nature Park Shumen plateau and Shumen City Park are an important green area for residents of Shumen city. The aim of this study was to make comparative analysis of the qualities of the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park as green spaces.
For quality assessment 10 criteria were used. The criteria were grouped in four categories - Green space placement, Green space use, Environment and Biodiversity. Five-point Likert scale was used to determine satisfaction with each of the 10 criteria. Nine experts did the evaluation of the criteria.
In category “Green space placement”, the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park had very similar evaluations however there were big differences in the individual criteria. According to the category “Green space use, both parks showed rather similar results. Concerning the category „Environment”, the Nature Park Shumen Plateau received slightly higher assessment and the category “Biodiversity” was ranked as twice higher.
The results show that the Nature Park Shumen Plateau and the Shumen City Park possess good quality as a green area, as the Nature Park Shumen Plateau was higher assessed compared to the Shumen City Park.
Vanya Koleva, Teodora Koynova, Asya Dragoeva and Nikolay Natchev
Anthropogenic activities cause environmental pollution and alter biogeochemical cycles. Soils in cities and their vicinity are exposed to different pollutants. Nature Park Shumen Plateau is a protected area situated in the proximity of Shumen (Bulgaria). The aim of this research was to compare elemental composition of surface soil samples from Nature Park with two areas in Shumen city.
Soil samples from seven sites on the territory of Nature Park and from two urban sites were collected. The elemental composition of the samples was determined using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence technique. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis were performed to interpret the complex data.
The content of 24 elements was determined: Br, Y, Zr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Cs, Ba, La, Ce Si, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, and Pb. Results presented here and previously showed that concentrations of heavy metals Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb are below the upper limit according to Bulgarian legislation. Concentrations of Mn and Fe in samples from Nature Park were comparable to the literature data reported for unpolluted areas. Principal component analysis and cluster analysis show similarity of the content of 24 elements between samples from Nature Park and from Shumen city. These findings are in accordance with our previous positive results from Allium-test: cytogenetic endpoints showed a presence of harmful compounds in Nature Park soils.
The content of heavy metals in the surface soils studied show a lack of environmental risk for Nature Park. However, a similar distribution pattern of the investigated elements in the park and two anthropologically influenced areas in Shumen city indicated a potential hazard in Nature Park.