It was a rainy morning,some kids betting they don’t remember waking up so early on a Saturday. Nevertheless they all, together with senior volunteers and their teachers took a round walk trough the botanical garden,listening to an extensive lesson about plants in architecture, invasive species,native turtles in the pond and protected flora. Interesting enough that some visitors in the garden asked to join us, and they did!An hour of concentration for all of us, the cat included!Obviously it turned out the cat was concentrated on the duck,but newer mind, this is nature, to! All together (only the cat refused) we continued the lesson with clay-sculpturing workshop-it was fun,learning and sculpting together-but it comes in the next post!
These days I am thrilled finishing the preparatory phase for my first inter generational learning project in botanical garden to happen this Saturday.
2012 is European Year of Inter-generational Solidarity and Active Ageing,for Europe is facing big demographic changes towards society of older people.To sustain such society we will have to change our mindset.Living longer will inevitably rise the need of older people staying active longer,be it in their professional lives or in different fields of their interests, not only for the society will not be reach enough to pay you to be retired 30 years or longer, but also for retirement as known today too often pushes old persons on margins of our society,making them unable to develop their potentials or to contribute to their local community.The only clue to solve this situation is education.Education of older people to recognise, that they are valuable for community and that they are to learn further to stay “on track”.And education of young people and kids against stereotypes about old age, for they will have to live in ageing society. Inter generational learning is a way to make generations learn from each other and to start appreciating each other.
The idea for this project was to cower these mentioned thesis in a innovative way, binding senior garden volunteers,senior sculptors and kids from secondary school on one side, coupling natural sciences and culture on the other side,having a learning workshop and an exhibition for broader audience.The aim? To overcome stereotypes young do have about older people and vice versa, to learn that botany and biodiversity are important issues,to learn that we all need culture-and to spend a day together, in botanical garden, instead of sitting in front of comp or TV at home being alone.
How will it look like?
In the morning we will meet in BG-kids from secondary school with two professors, senior sculptors with their mentor,senior garden volunteers and some professionals from the garden.Together we will have an hour of education about certain plants and their ecosystems.Then we will express this new knowledge in clay and prepare an exhibition in the garden.Hope everything goes well!Promise to post some pictures, but do , please .cross your fingers for the project!
Here are last news about garden volunteers. They are not only working in botanical garden, they are also learning!
Last month garden volunteers learned an old craft-making willow garden obelisks.Gardener from the garden shoved them the materials to be used and then, step by step, the technique of weaving willow.It may look simple, but it is skill ,and you need time to develop proper skill.We had a lot of laughing and we tried hard making something to be at least similar to a decent garden sculpture.And we did it!But the greatest thing about learning this craft was not the sweet feeling of learning something new, but the fact, that volunteers took part in educational workshop in botanical garden next week-helping professional stuff to teach broader public how to make willow garden obelisks! Like the idea that, as good garden obelisk is a strong support for the plants to grow upon it, so the new learned skills are strong support for volunteers to ”grow” knowledge further…….
I am happy indeed, for garden volunteers started to work! It is clear that there will be still a lot of work motivating people to come, but the first ones have already come to the second informational meeting.Among them were even some who have already begun to help in the garden!
It is interesting to hear what their motivation for volunteering in the garden was.They mostly put the desire to help others and community as high as their need to learn more, as they mostly are passionate nature lovers already.Wish to meet other people or to work outdoors and have some recreation was also accentuated.
This group of volunteers is not big, but it is very important-they actually are the very first senior garden volunteers in our city’s botanical garden ever!
P.s.:on the picture is :
Genus Cotoneaster, family Rosacea
mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Latin cotoneum (see quince) + -aster
from : http://oxforddictionaries.com/