I had the great opportunity to visit some inspirational schools on Friday the 4th of May with Brett and Deidre. We first visited Wendouree Primary school which has an amazing Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden. Including a fantastic pizza oven and greenhouse made out of plastic bottles! We were shown around their school by their kitchen garden student leaders and were treated to some amazing muffins and biscuits made in the kitchen. Richard Bellimo a garden planner and landscaper who works in schools, gave us some inspiration for our revegetation projects. His school gardens included use of native plants, areas for passive and active use and natural play using rocks, logs, tracks and nooks. He also includes wetlands and small streams.
We then visited Ballarat Special school farm. It was so impressive to see the students talking so knowledgably about their garden, orchard and animals (including sheep, goats, chickens and pigs). The school also runs a cafe which is open to the public and teaches the students skills and confidence with working with the wider community.
We finished off the day at the Ballarat Botanical gardens where we had a chance to make seed bombs and learnt how to make newspaper pots! We also talked about how time in nature is so important for kids.
Some key things to come out of the day were:
-Volunteers are key (parents and wider community members) and should be appreciated!
-Start with a mud map (conceptual plan) of what you want to achieve. This may be 5-10 years in to the future as well as short term goals.
-The importance of green spaces for children to play and ‘be kids’. Spending time in nature enchances educational outcomes, behaviour and love of learning.
It was such a fantastic day and very inspirational to meet other educators from other schools, share ideas and see some amazing schools in action.