Parks and gardens with their ancient trees, lush alleys, colourful blossoms and murmuring streams have always attracted people no matter the season. Covered in thick snowdrifts in winter, showing off their carpets of blossom in spring, offering a nice green shade in summer heat, and a treat to the eye in autumn when trees turn colours, they are a great place to rest. Strolling along shady alleys in the open air revives your face colour, charming scents of blossoms and songs of birds set the mind free from all troubles.
Parks are naturally shaped or designed plots with trees and shrubs, cultivated as areas of recreation and leisure or for nature protection purposes. Traditionally the grounds of a countryside estate included a park. Landlords were willing to emulate each other and invited landscape professionals from abroad. They also looked for exotic plants in foreign countries. Local peasants tried to follow their suit and adorned even the smallest of their garden plots with trees, shrubs and flowers.
Every town can boast its carefully tendered park, with areas set aside for rest and recreation. There are five national parks in Lithuania. They are protected territories with specific landscape, unique settlements and cultural values. Human activity in these areas is limited and carefully coordinated with the efforts of nature protection. Additional protection and limitations on human activity apply also in the regional parks, nature reserves and strict reserves. Protection measures are necessary in order to prevent extinction of either flora or fauna of these areas. Some of the parks have universal value. The Curonian Spit National Park is a natural heritage site under protection of UNESCO.