Sustainable Community, Nove Starine Park in Solin Celebrates 15 Years

Total Croatia News

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Srđan Tutić

March 6th 2019; the talented team of writers at TCN is ever-growing and we are happy to welcome number 129 to the ranks. Mischa Pearson is best known for founding her multi-award-winning NGO fighting food waste and hunger in England. She was both nominated and recognised as one of the top most influential women in Suffolk where she grew up, and currently lives in the city of Split. Mischa has since been sustainably travelling Europe with her home educated son and their dog. Her first piece for TCN is naturally on a sustainable topic, the Nove Starine Park in Solin celebrates 15 years; Mischa caught up with the founder to learn a little more.

Welcome Mischa; if you are interested in writing for Total Croatia News, please contact us at [email protected]

“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise”. The old Anne Murray song might suggest a Teddy Bear or two, but it’s not that which causes a stir in the old forest, the Nove Starine Park…

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

About the Nove Starine Park in Solin

Sculpture and concept artist Ivan Tokić turns his ambitions to the sustainable project – Nove Starine Park development, with one 10,000 square meter forest in Solin. Set deep in the heart of mother natures dwelling place and neighbouring the ancient city of Salona –capital to the Roman province of Dalmatia, and birthplace to Emperor Diocletian lies the Nove Starine Park; home to this emerging artistic community.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić, the idyllic setting of Nove Starine Park

Nove Starine Park boasts everything from an outdoor cinema to a sauna and climbing gym, set amongst old pines stretched from a bed of limestone soil. Offering respite and shared meals to an array of international travellers willing to volunteer their skills, often escaping the city life in countries such as France, Holland and Germany; the sanctuary has taken on a charm unlike any other near the Adriatic coastline.

Lochlan, who stayed with Ivan at Nove Starine Park for three weeks in late 2017 described it as a “diamond tucked away in a beautiful forest reserve”.

What inspired the development, and what’s in store for the future?

“I started Nove Starine Park almost by accident, it was totally spontaneous and I actually wanted to be an actor prior to this” Ivan explains, as he walks the grounds. “I didn’t have food, so I grew some, and though deep into the philosophy of healthy soil, I used mostly intuition and communication to understand the natural environment. I call it intuition agriculture”.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić

Ivan hopes to host more travellers and local community interested in the project, welcoming those who would be willing to work for board. Individuals specifically adept with social media and fundraising, armed with motivation to bring new life to its collaborative design are encouraged to get in touch through the Nove Starine Facebook page.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić, international visitors and friends of Nove Starine Park

“We have many projects and ideas, and because there is so much space and freedom here, our only limitation is finding the right helping hands to make it happen. We have an outdoor cinema on a stage that would greatly benefit from some experienced minds, to perhaps take over for the summer months and put on some events/evenings.

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Photo Credit: Ivan Tokić

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

It’s really important that the local people are invited to be a part of what is happening here, too. We need all the support we can get to be successful.”

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

Nostalgic for times spent living in the thick of Suffolk’s oak and hornbeam, framing the picturesque Norfolk border of England, I quickly found myself imagining the off-grid pace once more; away from the Mittel-Europe grind of concrete jungles and densely carbonated air. In balance though, the city life is convenient, and if you’ve ever stripped naked and stood in an oversized woodland with a camper’s shower, hung precariously on a branch, thrashing a sack of unforgivingly cold water over you, you’ll know the simple life, although whimsical and romantic in its essence, is not for the faint-hearted.

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

The project plans to continue in its mission to demonstrate sustainable practices symbiotic with the natural environment, alongside a stone carving school and traditional olive pressing on-site starting October this year. Ivan finished by saying “the whole thing [project] has been a huge learning process, it’s really not about the destination, just the process.”

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Photo Credit: Srđan Tutić

For more news from Split and surrounding, visit Total Split.


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