Last Updated on Sunday, 19 September, 2021 at 9:10 am by Andre Camilleri
Work on a €2 million project to regenerate Spencer Garden into a sustainable and model public garden is set to commence in the coming weeks.
This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia who said that this project – which is being funded by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) and Ambjent Malta – is expected to be completed by late 2022. Once complete, Spencer Garden aims to offer an immersive natural experience.
Minister Farrugia explained that three tree nurseries will be built in order to grow a local tree stock for use in future projects. He said that works carried out will include the installation of new CCTV systems, the improvement of the many access points to the garden, landscaping upgrades, a new water feature, as well as the removal of invasive alien species which will be replaced by local species. “We see various social and ecological benefits to creating and improving the parks and gardens in our highly urbanised areas. Green infrastructure in general brings us closer to the natural environment and fosters a sense of community, identity and wellbeing while also bringing environmental and economic benefits to the community. Government is continuously working to improve recreational green areas”, stated the minister.
Minister Farrugia further explained that the garden will feature an innovative landscaping plan with multiple elevation changes and a green boundary wall which will serve as a sound barrier, thus helping to further enhance the feeling of being immersed in nature while also offering modern solutions such as free Wi-Fi. The garden has been designed to cater for multiple uses by the public, be it family outings, work, or for leisure and relaxation.
“Throughout the garden’s design, sustainability was put at the forefront with many measures and design features being specifically planned to enhance this. As a result, multiple water reservoirs, coupled with a rainwater catchment system, will be utilised to maintain the garden and reduce water wastage. Solar panels and energy-efficient smart lighting will be installed to both increase security and minimise energy usage”, said the minister Farrugia.
Environment and Resources Authority CEO Michelle Piccinino said that this garden is “a natural oasis in an urban area associated with traffic and industry. An oasis which will bring nature closer to our everyday life for the benefit of families and communities living in the area”. She also said that the authority decided to dedicate this oasis to Guido Lanfranco as it is believed “that this project represents his ethos – the importance of the knowledge on the natural environment and its importance to society”.
Guido Lanfranco was a pillar for the Maltese environmental community promoting not only environmental matters, but also culture, folklore, and natural history. He made invaluable contributions to environmental awareness and he transmitted this passion and love to many. His role also led to the creation of environmental institutions in Malta and also goes hand in hand with the Pope’s encyclical ‘Laudato Si’, which calls on all people to take “care of our common home.” In fact, the garden will also include a memorial referencing this encyclical.