[WATCH] Paola's little known, big garden to get 13,000 trees and shrubs

The Mediterranean Garden in Paola situated behind the Corradino prisons had been allowed to deteriorate considerably but a complete overhaul will see an irrigation system and more trees being introduced

Mediterranean Garden used to be named after Libya's strongman Muammar Gaddafi
Mediterranean Garden used to be named after Libya's strongman Muammar Gaddafi
Ambjent Malta on refurbishment of Ġnien il-Mediterran

Over 13,000 trees and shrubs will be planted during the restoration of the Mediterranean Garden in Paola, as part of a regeneration project to encourage more people to visit.

The big garden situated behind the Corradino prisons is little known and very few people visit. Abandoned by everyone, the garden, formerly known as Gaddafi Garden, is now undergoing restoration.

 Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis, Environment Minister Jose Herrera, Ambient Malta, Director General Herman Galea
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis, Environment Minister Jose Herrera, Ambient Malta, Director General Herman Galea

During a visit to the garden on Monday, Environment Minister Jose Herrera said the garden had ended up in such a state that it was no longer utilised by people who lived in Paola or neighbouring towns.

Herrera said the garden had a litany of problems, such as the land not having an irrigation system. "There were also plenty of dead trees, as well as whole pieces of land which were barren." 

An irrigation system is being installed
An irrigation system is being installed
New trees and shrubs are being planted
New trees and shrubs are being planted

Herrera said that it was important to turn the garden into a place, where people wanted to congregate. "I would like to see more indigenous trees planted, maybe event fruit trees, that people can pick from when they visit the garden."

However, he said that they were also aware of making sure that all trees imported complemented the genetic profile of the garden.

Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis highlighted that the goal of restoring the garden was to attract people to frequent it more often, adding that there were people living in the area who didn't even know it existed.

He said plans were in hand to have a direct link between MCAST and the garden to encourage students to frequent it and "seek inspiration from nature".

Herman Galea, director general at Ambjent Malta, a government agency, said the plan was to introduce more indigenous trees, clean up the area and remove any dead plants. "Our plan going forward is to continue to maintain the garden, in order to make sure that it is a place where people can come, relax, and be surrounded by nature."

Turning to other projects, Herrera hinted that a new policy would soon be put forward to allow private companies and NGOs to partner up with the government, in a scheme that would see trees being planted on private land on the condition that they are taken care of.

 

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