Arboretum is a nonprofit project based in Marbella whose mission is to develop environmental education and provide a public space for an understanding of sustainability in practice. La Chispa will be following its progress over the next few issues.
In the conservation garden, one of the priorities is developing a wild wood, composed of 131 species of trees, shrubs, grasses and vines native to the region, creating a living collection of plants and a gene pool representing the biodiversity of the area.
Given the special nature of the park, its director, Alejandr Orioli explained: “we have tried to integrate complementary disciplines in the design of the wild wood, and while we have started using a basis in permaculture, we also recognise that this is the most visited area of the park, so we not only offer people a walk among indigenous plants with all their educational information, but we have also looked to offer harmony and balance. This is where other disciplines such as Feng Shui and Geobiology come into the design, developing the spirit of the place, the connection between the park and the visitors. Geobiology explores the interactions between life, on one hand, and the physio-chemical environment of the Earth on the other, especially the influence that living beings have on their environment. It also looks at the conditions that these physical processes of the planet have on the evolutionary development and ecology of life.
Nearly 90% of the work has been done: putting in roads, fencing, irrigation and preparing the land, so that in November a plantation of over 17,000 plants can be created. Anyone interested in being a part of this exciting project can, for just 5€ a month, have a tree planted in their name that will be cared for over the next 30 years by Arboretum. The project is first and foremost a practical tool for education and since June has already started offering activities, workshops and seminars.
In the coming months, says Alejandro, “we have a broad and interesting schedule, starting with a workshop on ‘Permaculture and sustainability’ on October 7 to 9.” Later, on November 4 there will be a seminar on ‘vegan food: a view from ecology and health’. Following that on December 2 to 4 ‘urban organic and biodynamic gardens’, while on the last Saturday of each month there is a free workshop ‘Ecological Reforestation’ with Dango Nendo.
The best way to stay informed is by accessing the Arboretum facebook page.
This post is also available in: Spanish