The Maltese Islands keep seeing an increase in cleanup and environmental awareness activities, with people of all ages joining in to help make Malta a much greener place. Yesterday, the latest to join in on the fun was a group of Year 5 students, who not only got their hands dirty (metaphorically; they had gloves on) but also got to learn more about Malta’s biodiversity.
As part of an activity which saw the collaboration of Din l-Art Ħelwa, BirdLife Malta, Wasteserv, EkoSkola Malta and Mellieħa Local Council, a group of Year 5 students from the Mellieħa Primary School took part in a cleanup activity at Saint Agatha’s Tower, more commonly known as the Red Tower.
The event saw the young students – along with their teachers and supervisors – pick up a wide variety of waste from the area, which definitely went a long way into making the area much cleaner and greener.
“The cleanup activity was also linked to the protection of biodiversity, both local flora and fauna,” environmental activist Ghislaine Calleja told Lovin Malta. “We wanted to show the students how litter has a direct negative impact on this protection of biodiversity.”
And that’s where the multi-disciplinary approach of educating the students really came into effect. The group found things like a lizard trapped in a plastic bottle, and a silicone glue tube which could’ve led to flora in the area dying off from the dangerous chemicals.
But that wasn’t even all. The adorable event, which saw the children wearing DIY t-shirts with environmental messages scribbled on them, was followed by a math activity while under the historic tower.
“At the end of the cleanup, we sorted the waste, and they weighted each recyclable bag with resources and each black bag with landfill waste,” Ghislaine told Lovin Malta. “They also learnt about the history of the Red Tower as an important landmark that is soon to undergo more restoration with Din L-Art Ħelwa. Finally, the students were given a guided tour through the Foresta 2000 area, learning about afforestation among the beautiful scenery.
In 2004, Din L-Art Ħelwa together with BirdLife Malta and PARKS formed a partnership to manage and fund Foresta 2000. To date, about 23,000 trees and shrubs have been planted, and work still is still ongoing to improve this diverse and beautiful woodland.