Under the Hay-Buneau Varilla Treaty of November 1903, five miles of land from each side of the interoceanic canal were given to the United States government for the construction, operation, protection, and maintenance of the aquatic way. Because the Metropolitan Natural Park was within this territory, it was also included in the Treaty. From the fragments of forest that has persisted since colonial and pre colonial times, natural regeneration gave place to the natural forest we have today.
If we had lived in Panama during the colonial times, we would have found in what is today the Metropolitan Natural Park, a very different view. From Panama City, the caravan carried gold and silver from South America to the Venta de Cruces town by the river shores. From there, the treasures were shipped through small embarkations to Portobello City, one of the few piers in the new world authorized to receive royal galleons (ships that carried the gold).
The travelers that leaved from Panama City would pass close to what is today the Metropolitan Natural Park, on their way to Venta de Cruces by the edges of Chagres River. But, the view that the travelers saw in the XVII century was very different from today. The caravan travelers enjoyed a view of cattle ranches, agriculture fields, resting areas and a rich natural forest.
On June 5, 1988, the World Day of Environment, the Metropolitan Natural Park was inaugurated. A year later, three new coordinator units were created: Protection, Environmental Education, and Maintenance.
In 1989, the Metropolitan Natural Park became a center of training for the “Fuerza de Defensa de Panama” FFDD (Panama Military Force).
Currently the Metropolitan Natural Park has a five year Management Plan and an Operational Plan. The Park has specialized and technical personnel in Environmental Education, protected areas interpretation and investigation personnel, bilingual guides with broad knowledge of interpretation, well trained Park Rangers, security staff, and administration executives, maintenance, public relations, voluntary program, internships, and others.
The Park has signed different agreements with national and international organizations like The Education Ministry, Panama University, Technology University, and Cleveland Metro Parks, among others.