Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Belt - Olarizu Park
The Olarizu Gardens resulted from the adaptation, in 1998, of an area occupied by farms, abandoned fields and uncontrolled dumps. It is now owned by the municipality and is open to the public. The Centre for Environmental Studies (CEA) is responsible for its design and management and it is now used to promote environment-related education, awareness and leisure activities.
- Address: c/ Campo de los Palacios
- Target public: schoolchildren and the public in general
The bioclimate building
This building was built in accordance with bioclimatic architectural criteria, with a view to taking full advantage of natural resources (sun, climate, relief, soil) to meet the need for light, heating, ventilation, water, etc. It was designed to cater for the needs of the users of the gardens and features lockers, changing rooms, toilets and a agroforestry tool and machinery storage area. It also has a small information office and a wather station that collects and provides information on the temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity and solar radiation.
The forest nursery
This facility is dedicated to the production, maintenance and acclimatization of various species of plants that are native to Vitoria-Gasteiz and Álava. It is home to more than 100 species of trees and shrubs, including the most important found in our natural systems: beech, oak, ash trees, holm oaks, willows, alders ...
Production is based on environmentally friendly and sustainable cultivation techniques that seek to save resources, use resistant or biodegradable materials and organic fertilizers. The nursery is divided into various areas that include greenhouses, plots where bare root plants are grown, growth beds, conservatories and a substrate storage area.
The allotments area features a common training garden, individual vegetable gardens and irrigation ponds. This area is dedicated to a green agricultural programme aimed at people over 55 who are not working and consists of a theoretical-practical course on organic horticulture and the subsequent assignment of plots for cultivation. This initiative has, on the one hand, a leisure and social integration element and, on the other hand, it promotes environmentally friendly and healthy agricultural techniques.
The fruit crop area
The fruit crops include a wide range of species: apples, pears, cherries, peaches, plums, quince, figs, hazelnuts, walnuts, vines, raspberries, blackcurrents... The fruit crops are grown using ecological methods, especially regarding the irrigation system, which is based on the efficient use of water by means of a drip system.
The pond and glass greenhouse
Over the pond, which can be reached via a wooden walkway above the water, stands a glass greenhouse that constitutes a clear visual reference and landmark. Built in accordance with bioclimatic criteria, it houses collections of seasonal plants that make for an interesting and pleasant place to visit.
The rock garden
Opposite the pond and the greenhouse is a rock garden with a collection of seasonal and perennial plants. In general, these are species that need very little soil and are capable of surviving in extreme conditions. They grow horizontally and serve to cover the ground. Most of them colourful flowers or are aromatic plants that attract honey-making insects that are highly beneficial for pollinating the vegetable gardens.
Distributed over the entire surface of the Vegetable Gardens, there is a representation of the native forests of the Municipality: oak forests, riparian forests, birchwood areas, oak forest, gall, beech and mixed forests, which have been used to design an interesting self-guided tour.
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