Arboretum Marbella celebrated their first birthday in May 2012 and announced some extraordinary achievements. During this short time they have planted over 10,000 native shrubs, plants & trees and welcomed more than 3,000 students to learn about the environment, sustainability and organic land management. These are giant steps forward in creating the People’s Forest and becoming a leader in environmental education, but they have even more ambitious plans for the year ahead.
Arboretum Marbella’s First Year in Numbers
• Since 4th May 2011 a total of 156 activities have taken place
• They have planted 10,680 plants (native trees, shrubs and grasses)
• 3,320 students have taken part in educational events at Arboretum in their “Open Air Classrooms”
• 1,438 people have come to educational and fun events at the park
• 4 modules of the 10 module Education for Sustainable Living course have been completed.
• More than 50 free events have taken place such as reforestation workshops, group plantation events, volunteer events, kids’ activities and markets.
Arboretum Marbella’s Five Year Plan
• To plant 50,000 plants in 10 hectares of waste land to create a green space of value to the community, tourists and the environment
• To become a practical and theoretical educational resource for students of permaculture, environmental issues and sustainability
• To restore endangered natural habitats and conserve biodiversity
• To create green jobs
• To inspire and educate people to value green spaces, plants and trees
• This project will cost a total of 1.8 million Euros over 5 years and relies entirely on support from businesses and individuals
Stepping it up for their Second Year
Becoming a centre for Permaculture and the Transition Initiative
Arboretum Marbella is passionate about educating people and giving them the tools to live a more sustainable life with less environmental impact. Permaculture is central to this aim and so they will be holding the very first Permaculture Design Course (PDC) on the Costa del Sol from 19th-28th October 2012. This intensive ten day course gives students an internationally recognised qualification, following 80 hours of theoretical and practical training.
Arboretum Marbella’s goals are in line with the Transition Towns movement, a campaign to create more sustainable communities which reduce their carbon footprint, are less reliant on fossil fuels and equip people with the skills to respond the changing circumstances which diminishing fossil fuels will cause.
On 27th October, Marbella Town Hall and Arboretum Marbella are holding a conference entitled “IN Transition – Making a Date with Change for a Better Future.” This exciting conference will be a great way for local residents to learn how to create sustainable communities by offering practical strategies, tools and action plans, using the model of the International Transition Town movement. Highly influential speakers including the co-founder of the Transition Network and author of the Transition Handbook Rob Hopkins will be taking part and it will be a very important conference.
Leading up to this event there will be free monthly film screenings about the Transition campaign at FNAC. The screenings are on 8th June, 13th July, 10th August, 14th September and 12th October at 19.00.
Continuing with Arboretum’s Development in 2012
• They will be embarking on a community allotment scheme where Retired People and other interested parties can be involved in growing organic vegetables on the site. This will educate them in organic growing practices and they can have the vegetables to supplement their larders.
• They will be starting with Area 2 of the Project, a 2 hectare piece of land where which will be planted using the Analog Forestry technique, this method involves planting in a way which mimics the ecosystem and is sustainable but which also can allow an economic return from the crops.
• Area 1 will be completed by adding a water deposit and final planting activities.
Creating a Series of Regular Events for the Community
There will be a fixed calendar of monthly events which offer people fun, interesting activities for the family in beautiful surroundings. Monthly events include:
• Gratiferia Market where everything is free of charge with a carnival atmosphere – first Sunday of each month
• Organic Food Market Bioterra once a month from July
• “Lend a Hand” Events on the second Saturday of each month where volunteers can help Arboretum Marbella and spend a few hours in the open air weeding, planting, seed collecting and more
Playing a part in creating the people’s forest
Arboretum Marbella will be the “People’s Forest” created by and for the people of the Costa del Sol. It is a non-profit organisation and needs support from individuals and businesses. These are the following options for supporting the charity:
The charity is looking for people with a little time and positive energy to donate to the project on a regular basis to make a real difference
• Give the gift of a tree:
For 60€ you can give the gift of a tree. The tree will be planted in Arboretum Marbella and registered under the name you indicate. The recipient will receive a certificate of ownership in which we will indicate the exact location of their tree (using GPS) and the species to which it belongs.
• Senior member:
Contribute 5€ per month to support the growth of the park and receive a tree
• Family member:
Contribute 10€ a month for the whole family to become members of the park. The family receives two trees in the park and a free annual subscription to a magazine all about the environment
• Corporate collaborator:
Offer funds or skills to support the project with a value of 350€ to 5,000€
• Primary sponsor:
Commit to a five year term of supporting the charity by donating a minimum of 10,000€ per year
This project is a wonderful tool for the community and our environment and being involved is highly rewarding.
This post is also available in: Spanish