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BirdLife Joins Marsaxlokk Community In Calls To Leave Primary School Garden Alone

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Local NGO BirdLife has taken a stance against the proposed civic centre in Marsaxlokk, joining the community in their call to leave the primary school garden alone.

This comes after plans surfaced of a civic centre for the Marsaxlokk local council set to replace a significant portion of the primary school garden of St. Thomas More.

“BirdLife Malta is highly disappointed by plans to build a community centre in the outdoor space within the school grounds of Marsaxlokk Primary, and joins the Marsaxlokk community in their call,” it said in a press statement. 

Green spaces in schools have high educational value for outdoor learning through nature and are linked with student mental and physical health, and general well-being,” the organisation said.

“Any proposal to rob the children of Marsaxlokk of these benefits is a clear statement about the low status that is afforded quality education, in comparison to other interests,” it said. 

In the press release, it also addressed the direct association of the presence of nature with higher levels of motivation to attend school, and better overall performance and behavior.

“Suggestions for relocating the uprooted trees to a roof garden to be ‘enjoyed by the public’ totally miss the wood for the trees and reflect an ignorance of the benefits that the green spaces and mature trees are providing for the children,” it said.

The organisation also stressed that while the mayor is right in pointing out that the school grounds do not wall within ODZ land, all green school spaces should be considered as ODZ in spirit. 

“In line with this, we also hope the Mayor will be the first to protest when developments in ODZs are being planned and suggested,” it continued.

In view of this BirdLife Malta is urging Education Minister Justyne Caruana and Minister for the Environment, Climate Change, and Planning Aaron Farrugia to join the outcry against this proposed development in Marsaxlokk.

BirdLife Malta also supports the Marsaxlokk community in their call to their local council to withdraw the mentioned plans.

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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