The Malta Independent 8 December 2022, Thursday
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Driving students for a positive change in the care of our environment

Wednesday, 6 February 2019, 11:55 Last update: about 5 years ago

Lee Gatt

As a Salesian school, Savio College instils in the students Don Bosco's maxim to be "good Christians and honest citizens". Following Pope Francis' teachings in Laudato Si', on the way Catholics need to be a positive change to save earth's environment, the school started a three year project focused on education about trees. This also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the college. This project was part of the LEAF (Learning About Forest) programme.

The main aim for this program is to increase the awareness about our natural heritage: the trees.

The LEAF committee has involved all students and planted numerous trees all around the school especially on the outskirts of our football pitch. Forty-eight indigenous trees were planted. This will make the area greener and more pleasant for all the educative community and the residential community in Dingli. As part of the project, an irrigation system to water the trees has been installed last year.

Trees have several positive effects. One of them is that they make the air that we breathe cleaner. Trees also retain soil, and create habitats for birds, small mammals and reptiles such as the Maltese lizard. Furthermore trees help to make our surroundings greener and more beautiful.

Through this project Savio College is doing its part in creating a culture that appreciates indigenous trees, and to make the Maltese islands greener.

This afforestation project was part of Tree Your Town campaign and was split into five phases. These consisted of:

Phase 1- Survey of trees in the school grounds: one hundred and forty trees were counted.

Phase 2- New areas were identified in which to plant trees.

Phase 3- The irrigation system was set up.

Phase 4- The choice of indigenous trees involved many students who had a say in the decision-making process.

Phase 5- The trees were planted during an activity on a school day in which each class planted one tree. After receiving brief information about the tree that was going to be planted, Fr Jeremy Vella SDB, Head of School at Savio College blessed these new trees.

Savio College would like to thank the Tree Your Town scheme, MAPFRE Middlsea and Gaetano Borg Financial Advisors Ltd who have supported the initiative during these last couple of years.  In the coming months a new project sponsored by the EU funded LIFE 16 IPE School Campaign will commence to repair a water reservoir that will eventually be used to irrigate the new trees.  This is another pro-environment project that will create more awareness among students as regards the saving of rain water.  


Lee Gatt is a Form 3 at Savio College. He is also a school councillor and sits on the Eco School Committee

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