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It tells the legend that it was on this slope that the Indians buried the dead, before the arrival of the Portuguese to Brazil. At the beginning of the 20th century, the place was already known as Chacara da Catacumba, it belonged to the Baroness of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, who would have left in testament their lands to their former slaves, who came to occupy it after his death.
The first huts emerged in the 1930s and in 1942, with the arrival of migrants from the Northeast, became a large favela. In 1964, Carlos Lacerda began a process of dismantling of the favelas, removing its inhabitants for “housing complexes”, such as Vila Kennedy and Cidade de Deus. In 1970, in the management of Negrao Lima, the favela was removed and baptized “Parque Carlos Lacerda”, in honor of its predecessor. The inauguration was in 1979, by then mayor Marcos Tamoyo. After the removal of the favela, the hill underwent a process of reforestation and nature took care of the rest.
In January 2008, SMAC and SETUR (Special Secretariat for Tourism) started an innovative project to open the Municipal Parks for Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism activities. The model was based on the Foz do Iguaçu National Park, which until now was the only conservation unit in Brazil to have a concessionary with a contract to explore Tourism and Adventure activities.
The project developed jointly by the secretariats had as objective, to install equipment for practice of adventure tourism in the park, and to grant to an operator specialized in the activities. The announcement for the installation of the equipment was won in January 2008 by the Rio company Rio and the installation was completed in October of the same year.
The operator’s choice was completed in September 2009, and the winning bidder was Lagoa Aventuras. The park of Catacumba happens to appear in the national scene, not only by the beautiful sculptures and views that it has, but also by the innovative management model. Rio de Janeiro also makes a big leap in search of the professionalization of Aventura tourism and the consolidation of Rio as an Ecotourism destination.
Due to the diverse changes that have occurred in the Park and surrounding region, the fauna of Catacumba Municipal Park is composed of species typically adapted to urban areas and altered environments. They are common species of avifauna, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. To observe the local animals, just stop for a few minutes in silence! Remember that feeding wild animals is harmful to your eating habits and can cause illness and also lead to death.
With the growth of the Catacumba favela, as of 1940, the local forest was gradually overturned to give way to houses and shacks. In 1970, the favela was removed and, starting in 1988, a reforestation program was started with the initial objective of containing slopes.
In the 1980s, the reforestation technique used mainly, pioneer tree seedlings (the first ones to settle in a region) that are more rustic and fast growing. Subsequently, from 1999, the enrichment phase was followed. This stage was accomplished with the planting of secondary species and climax.
We found in the Park some exotic species (that are not native of the region or even of Brazil) coming from Asia. We also find species introduced by the locals. Another exotic species is the colony grass (Panicum maximum). This grass grows rapidly and is easy to combust, facilitating the propagation of fires in the hills of Rio. The reforestation in the Park is still carried out for the enrichment of the vegetation and for the eradication of the grass-colonium.