10 November, a ‘European Garden’ was planted at Xrobb l-Għagin Nature Park and Sustainable Development Centre, Marsaxlokk, Malta. It includes 28 trees, representing each EU member state. It was opened by Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, as part of a wider initiative of an international NGO, ENO Environment Online.
The activity is funded through the European Commission’s Europe Direct network and organised with the cooperation of Nature Trust through its LEAF programme.
The programme included a hands-on session whereby 30 students from three LEAF schools had the opportunity to learn more about site management and tree aftercare. Thanks to the PARKS Directorate within the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, students were given a guided tour of the area where they could see for themselves the work that goes into the upkeep of the planting site until the new trees become acclimatised and become well established. Staking, water trenching, irrigation, weeding, grass cutting and mulching were some of the themes discussed. Towards the end of the session students were also involved in a weeding exercise in the area where they had planted a number of dwarf fan palm trees two years back.