In the neighborhood of Imbiribeira (Zona Sul of Recife), you’ll find the Lagoa do Araçá Ecological Park, which consists of a large green space, two playgrounds, a mini soccer field, a court for the practicing of various sports, a skate ramp, a jogging trail, and more. None of it would exist today if it weren’t for a 13-year political battle between the people, the government and business interests.
The preservation of the lake is thanks to a group of people in 1981 who cared enough to fight against a planned real estate deal that would have seen the lake become housing and/or office space. The concerned citizens went around collecting signatures and went on to also succeed in assuring the surrounding area would be preserved, improved and beautified. The group came to be known locally as Amigos da Lagoa do Araçá. Due to politics, their fight would continue until late 1994 when the then-mayor officially announced the creation of the Lagoa do Araçá Ecological Park.
Currently, there are still some issues with the lake that need to be dealt with (as can be seen in the video below) but that’s easier to fix than reversing what the area would have become had it not been for the few who fought for the many.