MELBOURNE: Course in school kitchen gardens thanks to collaborative arrangement

Media release

Growing food for kid’s imaginations

Climate change, healthy food and sustainability are hot topics and creating school gardens is how many schools are able to explore these issues.

The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne is offering teachers, parents and community volunteers the opportunity to learn more about how to develop and maintain school gardens.

According to Christine Joy, RBG Education Coordinator, gardens provide the perfect learning space for children of all abilities, interests and learning styles.  “Get children in a school garden and immediately a teacher is able to provide immersive learning experiences around sustainable gardening, healthy food choices and biodiversity.

The RBG is offering the hands on course in partnership with Cultivating Community, a not-for-profit gardening support organization, in September this year.  The course includes hands-on demonstrations with participants visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne and Melbourne and various school garden sites around Melbourne to learn directly from teachers and RBG horticultural specialists. The program is not just for teachers, however.

As Christine emphasizes, “A garden for children is not only about growing food but it is also about growing food for kids’ imaginations, and it’s about growing our community, so this course is open to members of the wider school community. Most participants soon realise that setting up a school garden could and should be much more than a vegetable patch.”

Participants are able to apply what they learn quickly in their school setting with information from developing outdoor play spaces, understanding the role of nature as teacher, to food security, no-dig gardens and composting.

Dates and times: 2 September to 21 October 2010; Comprising two full day sessions and four evening sessions.

Cost: $650 per participant

Public enquiries: 03 9252 2358

Media enquiries: Eleanor Bridger 03 9252 2387.

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