The Kitchen Gardens
at San Anton Palace
The historic kitchen garden of San Anton Palace has been opened to the public after extensive rehabilitation in an 18-month project launched by President George Abela. Half way in this project STARS had the opportunity to meet with his Ecc. President George Abela, where he personally told us about the opening of this Garden. Hence, we took the opportunity to raise the issues vis-a-vis leisure and disability. We showed our concern that to date even though there are other public parks none of them cater for children with disability. Immediately the President, together with his staff, looked very interested in our views and took note of all our suggestions. We worked together as a team and gathered all the necessary information. We supplied them with ideas of how children with a disability can have easiy access to the rides and at the same time have fun together with their peres. in other words, we stressed out the importance of inclusion.
In fact, the Kitchen Garden boasts of a merry-go-round which is accessible for wheelchair users; animal therapy; sensory gardens; and even educational material picturing typically developing children playing with peers who are wheelchair users. We feel that such small details can bring out a strong message amongst children and instill a sense of equality. Other educational material include scented cards, tactile cards and sensory books. Since this garden will be open for school visits and groups of children, all this material will be available on request by the teachers.
The garden is highly accessible, each different level is accessible by chair lifts for wheelchairs. It also features a playing area and animal pens for a variety of animals including Shetland ponies, donkeys, ostriches, emu, cranes and goats, which children can enjoy. There is also a Cafeteria which profits from sales go to the Community Chest Fund.
This garden will be open from:
- 1st Oct to 31st Oct from 9.30am-7.00pm.
- 1st Nov to 31st March from 9.30am – 6.00pm
- 1st April to 30th June from 9.30am – 7.00pm
- 1st july to 30th Sept from 9.30am till 2.00pm and then from 6.00pm till 10.00pm
As parents we are so grateful! A garden of this kind gives an opportunity to our children. They will no longer be passive viewers but will start to be active participants! Thank you Mr. President for making one of our dreams come to reality. We do hope that this will bring an example to Authorities for including all our children in all public parks.
Thank you your Ecc. President George Abela