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Main Projects

- Apollo
- Athene
- Elysium
- Hermes
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- Odysseus
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Other Projects

- Galatea
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Elysium - Encouraging biodiversity and ecological restoration of habitats

Elysium is the name given to the famed luscious green fields enjoyed by the righteous after death, a garden of Eden for the ancient Greeks.

This project focuses on biodiversity, the propagation of trees and shrubs that are native to the Maltese Islands as well as on the ecological restoration of degraded habitats.

:: Habitat Restoration

The Gaia Foundation is currently managing Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and ir-Ramla, Gozo, two bays, which are designated as Candidate Special Areas of Conservation of International Importance via Government Notice 877 of 2003. As Natura 2000 sites they form part of the Natura 2000 European network of protected areas.

The coastal cliffs including Għajn Tuffieħa Bay are of great ecological importance. They are home to various endemic, threatened or protected species, like the rare shrub Fagonia cretica, which grows on clay slopes, as well as threatened and protected habitats like Mediterranean Salt Steppe or Garigue. The sandy beach of ir-Ramla, Gozo is backed with the most extensive sand dune system in the Maltese Islands. Here we still can find some rare and highly adapted dune species like Sea Holly and Sea Daffodil.

The protected sites are subject to various forms of negative environmental impacts and pressures, like trampling and picnicking on the clay slopes or sand dunes, offroading, soil erosion or fires. Another problem is the former plantation or invasion of non-native species, especially Acacias at Għajn Tuffieħa and Giant Reed in the ir-Ramla sand dunes. They are a threat to the natural vegetation as they do not form part of the Maltese ecosystem, inhibit the growth of native species or displace them.

Our task is to reduce the negative impacts on these protected sites and to support the natural regeneration of disturbed and degraded areas. The removal of the mentioned non-native species is one of the most urgent tasks for the next years.

:: Tree Nursery

The nerve centre of this project is our Elysium Tree Nursery at Għajn Tuffieħa. It was set up in 1999 in a disused sewage treatment plant at Għajn Tuffieħa to propagate trees, shrubs and grasses that are native to the Maltese Islands. The nursery has gained experience in the propagation and cultivation of several rare and threatened plant species. Some of them are classified as endemic, found only on the Maltese Islands. The tree nursery provides native plant material for afforestation and habitat restoration projects as well as Maltese plants for private gardens and parks. Download our brochure!

:: Plants for sale

Did you know that our 'Elysium' is the leading nursery in the Maltese Islands which houses the most extensive and largest stock of indigenous trees and shrubs. These are available for public tree planting projects as well as for private gardens. Have a look at our brochure for some details on some of these plants.

If you are interested in buying indigenous trees and shrubs for your garden, park or afforestation project, then come to visit us from Monday to Friday from 7:30am till 1:00pm at our tree nursery in Għajn Tuffieħa or contact us by telephone or email!

:: Species propagated at the Elysium Nursery

Plants at our Elysium Tree Nursery are propagated according to seasons.

If your class or group wants to visit our Elysium Tree Nursery, we can offer you workshops, presentations and healthy lunches [click here for workshop programme]. Please contact us on or call us on 2158 4474/3.

:: Have you adopted a tree in the Maltese Islands?

Adopt a Tree

Our Elysium project is proud to be running the longest tree adoption campaign in the Maltese Islands.

Did you know that you can contribute to a cleaner and greener world by supporting our tree planting campaign, which helps to counter climate change.

Trees are an effective way of absorbing carbon dioxide (C02) and producing oxygen, thereby reducing the greenhouse effect of excessive C02 production from our cars, planes and power stations.

Trees are also believed to attract rain clouds, thereby countering the desertification process. Meteorologists are observing a reduction in rainfall of areas that have been deforested.

Give a gift to your family or a friend by adopting a tree in their name. You can also adopt one or more trees as a group or class of students.

For just 14 Euros or 18 US Dollars, you can add a tree to the Maltese landscape and to the world. We are also offering the possibility to have group adoptions (e.g. for school classes, scout groups, families etc.). Individuals can form a group and share the adoption fee. The group will adopt trees according to the sum given to us. For example a group giving 56 Euros would have adopted 4 trees.

People who have adopted trees
Print out an Adopt-A-Tree form

:: Kullegg San Benedittu, Kirkop (Malta)

Students from Kullegg San Benedittu, Kirkop (Malta)

Nearly 50 Maltese students from the Kullegg San Benedittu in Kirkop visited our Tree Nursery in May 2006. One group helped us repotting in the nursery. Another one collected seeds of the Esparto Grass, which we will sow and plant next winter on the clay slopes at Ghajn Tuffieha to reduce the erosion as part of our habitat restoration project.

With their donation they adopted 10 indigenous trees, namely Aleppo Pines, an evergreen tree which mainly formed part of the forests that once covered the Maltese Islands.

:: Paola Girl Guides (Malta)

Paola Girl Guides (Malta)

After a workshop in our Elysium Nursery in February 2006 the Paola Girl Guides sponsored 3 native trees for Malta. They chose the National Tree, the Sandarac Gum Tree. We thank you very much for your visit and this gift to the Maltese Islands!

:: Peace Boat Group

Peace Boat Group

:: Studiosus Group

Studiosus Group

:: Uta Kramer (Germany)

After a visit to our Elysium Nursery in April 2001 Uta Kremer (Germany) asked her friends to sponsor trees for Malta on her birthday instead of give her presents. Together they collected over 500DM (=250 Euro) - enough to sponsor 20 trees. This is what she had to say:

"I find it satisfying to sponsor trees, because this gives me the power to change the world a little bit. I am worried about the green house effect in connection with my flight to Malta. The burnt fuel that brought me to a magnificent holiday increased the global warming a little, because it released carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. On the other hand: trees reverse these effects, because they turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen and so they decrease the global warming. Of course they also keep the ground-water high, they keep the soil from eroding, they give shadow and I think they also condensate what little humidity there is in the air."

- Species propagated at the Elysium Nursery.

- Trees and shrubs planted by the Foundation.

- Year Planner.

Plants at our Elysium nursery are propagated according to seasons. The above link is the planner we use with details that could be helpful to any person or organisation involved in similar propagation.

- Revegetation at Project Sites (2000 - 2004)

To learn more about the Maltese flora please visit:

Maltese legislation pertaining Nature protection

- Legal Notice 49 of 1993: Flora and Fauna Protection Regulations

- Legal Notice 161 of 1999: Flora and Fauna Protection (Amendment) Regulations

- Legal Notice 12 of 2001: Trees and Woodlands (Protection) Regulations

- Legal Notice 257 of 2003: Flora, Fauna and Natural Habitats Protection Regulations

Adopt a tree with



Over 800 kids (aged 5-16yrs) took part in a sponsored run organized by SKOLASPORT on 22 Dec 2001. Lm568 were raised - enough to sponsor over 100 trees to be planted in the newly named SKOLASPORT 2001 grove.


Propagation of Aleppo Pines in seeding trays.

Entrance to the Elysium Tree Nursery and Visitor Centre.

View Photos >>>

Elysium Links

- History of the Maltese Gardens

- Malta Wild Plants

- Green Volunteers

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