Centro di Scienze Naturali di Galceti [Galceti Natural Science Centre]
The Centre was created in 1967 through an agreement between the Commune of Prato and the local Tourist Board for the realisation of a facility dedicated to the environmental and ecological aspects of the regional territory. The environmental park, consisting of a forest of maritime pines, is located in the protected area of Monteferrato. One of the main activities of the centre is that of caring for sick or injured animals and helping them to adapt again to life in the woods. There are two ponds, used by aquatic animals for sojourn and nesting. There is an archaeological site with a Palaeolithic Mousterian Industry Station. The centre also has a library with a newspaper and periodicals sections specialised in the environmental sector, a temperature and rainfall monitoring station and a forest fire-fighting section.
Noteworthy among the scientific collections in the Museum of Natural Sciences is a palaeontological collection containing fossils of invertebrates and vertebrates found in the Prato territory; a rock collection, of systematic type, with minerals and rocks of regional, but also national and foreign provenance; a herbarium containing species native to the area, with special reference to the serpentinous flora of the Prato Monteferrato Reserve; a zoological collection of vertebrates and invertebrates, almost all of them stuffed (consisting for the most part of animals cared for by the centre which failed to survive), coming mainly from the surrounding areas, although some national and foreign specimens are also present.
The Centre's scientific activity consists primarily of analysing and studying the territory. However, it carries out educational and cultural activities through various initiatives, many of which can boast efficient facilities such as workshops of environmental education and eco-tourism, with visits to the Centre and to the territory. It also has a planetarium, built thanks to the collaboration of the Quasar Amateur Astronomers Group, consisting of a fixed dome with diameter of four meters and an instrument designed to project the night sky, simulating the motion of the Earth, the Moon, the planets and the stars.
Texts by Donato Monaco
English translation by Catherine Frost
Last update 07/feb/2008