Embellishment of public places in Gozo

This article was published on the Let's Gozo, 4th edition.  For more information and to read the full magazine, visit www.letsgozo.com.mt

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ecoGozo page, Lets Gozo, 4th edition

Gozo is beautiful.  The scenery and landscape enjoyed from most parts of the island is unique and has contributed towards the island's tourist and economic endeavors for many years now.  Yet it was only recently, mainly in the past decade, that Gozo's beauty has also been accentuated through the many public spaces available for residents and visitors alike.

Thanks to the ecoGozo scheme for Local Councils and Non-Governmental Organisations which was launched a year ago: €2 million have already been invested in 51 different projects submitted.  Amongst the many projects which qualified for ecoGozo funding where those directed at the embellishment of the environment, restoring it to its natural state as inherited from our ancestors. These eco-projects such as the reconstruction of rubble walls, clean-up of valleys and restoration of icons which carry a cultural and traditional value are all contributing towards the public embellishment of Gozo along with other major projects which the Ministry for Gozo has embarked on as part of the ecoGozo Action Plan 2010 – 2012.

Three Hills Garden

Of the many public projects soon to be completed in Gozo, the new Three Hills Garden in Marsalforn will surely be amongst the most attractive to visitors. The new garden has been described by the Minister for Gozo, the Hon Giovanna Debono, as a "new garden offering recreational space which Gozitan families and all those visiting the island can enjoy. The Ministry was returning the land to the people with an added value through the major investment put into this project", said the Minister. 

The new garden boasts of state of the art facilities for children to recreate themselves and play in the brand new park-equipment. The park has six different playing areas for children and teens alike. New garden furniture was also installed for families to relax in the spacious renovated environment which until a few months ago was only a derelict space.  The newly constructed garden was designed with predominantly eco-concepts in mind. It includes pathways for visitors but also caters for a water reservoir to collect and make use of rain water for irrigation purposes. All rain water which before fell on this large piece of land ended up washed away into the sea. The park has been adorned by rubble walls, installation of an eco-lighting system - part of which is solar-powered, new and innovative irrigation systems, new sewage canals and paved with new tiles.  A total of 750 trees sponsored by Magro Brothers Foods Ltd will be planted in this new garden making it one of the largest in its kind. "This is an excellent example of a partnership with private enterprise for the realisation of the ecoGozo vision from which our community is gaining," concluded Minister Debono. 

Villa Rundle Gardens

Another major project soon to be inaugurated is that of Villa Rundle Gardens where substantial upgrading of the area and innovative landscaping has been carried out. Villa Rundle Garden is an important and vital green lung in an urban town like Victoria.  It offers a breathing space for the residents and workers of Victoria during the day while lends itself to all the Gozitan community and visitors particularly after work hours and during weekends. Works on this garden, which are soon to be concluded, are being coordinated by the Ministry for Gozo.

Public Art Scheme

By the end of this year 13 different artistic works will embellish public spaces around Gozo.  These first sculptures were commissioned out of the 43 which were selected amongst all those who participated in the Public Art in Gozo Scheme launched by the Ministry for Gozo in 2010 as part of the ecoGozo initiative.  As a result of this scheme by the Ministry for Gozo, Gozitans and all those visiting the island will have the opportunity to enjoy and admire these works of art in open public spaces rather than in the traditional manner enclosed in a museum. In all, a total of 64 Gozitan, Maltese and foreign artists residing in our islands have participated in the Public Art scheme, submitting 120 entries in the open competitive process launched two years ago. "It is an innovative way how to integrate culture and public embellishment through talented artists," said Minister Debono.

Several other projects involving the embellishments of public spaces are currently taking place across Gozo, mainly those related directly to the ecoGozo action plan 2010-2012 which all have an eco dimension. The Ministry for Gozo is committed in fulfilling the ecoGozo vision launched in 2010 to which Government invested a staggering €25 million for its initialisation action-plan covering the first three years. The long-term plan is for Gozo to reach eco-status by 2020.   For more information and the full list of ecoGozo projects, one can visit the new ecoGozo webite: www.ecogozo.com.  Apart from the full list of projects, visit our website for regular updates, view all the news items, projects, kids section and much more!  You can also stay updated by following us on our facebook page.