PARKS AFFORESTATION, COUNTRYSIDE RESTORATION AND INITIATIVES DIRECTORATE
The Directorate for Parks, Afforestation and Countryside Restoration – P.A.R.K. took over from the former Countryside Section of the then Environment Protection Department of the Ministry for the Environment. PARK now forms part of the portfolio of the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change (MSDEC). We have since come a long way in many aspects.
PARK is mainly responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of national parks and other public spaces as may be identified in various localities in Malta, from time to time.
Ta’ Qali and Salina National Parks are probably the most renowned with our clients. The footprint, as well as the diversification of these parks has become increasingly popular with the public, whatever the age and interest. In fact we offer an interesting selection of relaxation spaces to meet the taste and exigencies of children, young and adults alike.
The Ta’ Qali recreation complex offers, in fact, a relaxation treat for all: the Adventure Park for children and accompanying adults as well as youths, the Picnic Area for all the family, the Dog Park for dog lovers, the National Park for the environment enthusiasts and last but not least, the Petting Farm. The latter is the latest addition to the Ta’ Qali Park.
The Salina National Park, besides its north east location offers a somewhat different experience to visitors. As its name implies, the park is located adjacent to the historic salt pan site, dating back to at least 400 years. One can actually view the salt pans from the Salina Park.
Due to its proximity to the Bugibba/Qawra tourist villages, the Salina Park is frequently visited by tourists, especially during week days. Evidently, the Park offers a more peaceful experience than Ta’ Qali in view of its geographical location and over-riding theme. Hence, lush green carpets of turf, fountains and slow running streams all contribute to a therapeutic experience for visitors.
PARK deals also with the restoration of the countryside. Consequently it has, during the last years, undertaken various projects to re-establish derelict countryside sites across the Maltese islands.
The countryside restoration unit was responsible for removing a large number of forty five litre steel cans and other illegal dumping from identified sites. Collapsed rubble walls were re-constructed and the sites re-instated to their original state.
The 34U campaign is one of the initiatives undertaken by PARK. We in fact managed to encourage and empower the general public to plant more than 100,000 trees in various identified planting sites.
PARK is continuously committed to identifying and establishing other sites to turn into public recreational spaces.
To this end PARK management and planning personnel are regularly in contact with MEPA and other authorities to discuss new proposals and devise a way forward.