The City Council of Valongo and REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais inaugurate today, 4 April, at 12:00 pm, the Organic Garden of Palmilheira, in Ermesinde (Avenue Eng. Duarte Pacheco). This is an innovative partnership that will make more than 170 plots available so that families, schools, and local associations can grow and consume organic vegetables.
The plots, 15 of which are elevated for disabled people, occupy 11,000 square meters of land donated by REN and repurposed by the City Council of Valongo, through a project whose main guidelines are the promotion of environmental sustainability, strengthening of social inclusion, and support to local communities.
In addition to 172 plots and six sheds for agricultural tools, the Organic Garden of Palmilheira project includes four small footbridges over the water line that crosses the land; a pond to promote biodiversity; nesting houses; an insect hotel; hedges and aromatic plants with a pleasant odour, decorative elements, and urban furniture aimed at the principles of circular economy and promotion of biodiversity and urban agriculture.
This initiative is also part of the Horta à Porta - Hortas Biológicas da Região do Porto project (Garden at your Door - Organic Vegetable Gardens of Greater Porto), by Lipor (Intermunicipal Waste Management Service of Greater Porto), which promotes the construction of community gardens in eight municipalities of Greater Porto (Espinho, Gondomar, Porto, Póvoa de Varzim, Vila do Conde, Valongo, Maia, and Matosinhos).
The total investment amounted to 146,264.11 euros.
'We thank REN who provided the land needed to set up the largest organic vegetable garden in the municipality of Valongo and the second largest in the Lipor area. More than 170 families, schools, and associations will be able to practice urban agriculture, compost biodegradable waste, harvest and eat organic vegetables, and enjoy all the benefits of outdoor life in Ermesinde. Since we opened the Organic Garden of Ponte da Presa in 2014, we have been investing in this type of green infrastructure, for its obvious benefits to the community, including the promotion of physical and mental health', says José Manuel Ribeiro, Mayor of Valongo and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lipor, pointing out that projects like this 'ensure the planet's future'.
For João Conceição, Executive Director at REN: 'This joint initiative between the Valongo Municipality and REN reflects the two entities' commitment to providing a space for local communities that promotes sustainability in Ermesinde, both in the social and in the environmental aspects. These are the kind of projects that we encourage and are especially pleased to see implemented, especially when the municipality puts so much commitment into making them happen.'