Free State: Outreach Greening

Developing Indigenous gardens in schools is a way of extending the classroom to the outside where you can utilise the garden as a learning resource. This programme is also aimed at raising awareness and creating environmental responsibility at schools.

This programme aims to establish indigenous, water-wise gardens at schools. It also teaches the learners and teachers basic horticultural skills through a series of workshops. Up to date 57 school gardens have been developed around the Free State through this programme. Due to a lack of funding we are currently only greening one school.

Current horticultural workshops:

  • why indigenous?
  • pace the space
  • earth wormers
  • taking root
  • parenting plants
  • interpretation workshop
  • curriculum links

Outreach Greening garden project

The establishment of indigenous gardens

The selected schools stay on the programme for a minimum of three years with each year having the following focus areas:

Year 1

- Each school establishes a Green Team to champion the project. Ideally a 'Green Team' consists of educators, learners, community members and the school's groundsman.

- The Green Teams attend a series of horticultural workshops and learn about various aspects of garden design, soil quality, planting, plant propagation and garden maintenance.

- After each workshop, the Green Team of each school immediately implements what they have learnt back at school in a step- by-step process of developing their own indigenous garden. Regular site visits by the Outreach Greening staff members help to monitor each school's progress.

- The outreach Greening Programme provides the compost, plants, mulch and a toolkit of gardening equipment to each school.

Year 2

- In their second year on the programme, the schools are required to plan and implement an extension of their garden.

- The educators attend workshops which build their capacity to create interpretation plant labels and storyboards for their garden. They are then required to develop curriculum-linked lessons that can be facilitated in their schools gardens.

Year 3

- Continued support is given to the schools as they maintain their gardens and use them as educational resources.

- Schools are encouraged to initiate vegetable gardens and establish partnerships with various organisations that can assist them with their school garden.

- Each school in the third year of the programme is required to plan and facilitate an Open-Day ceremony which celebrates their achievements and officially signifies the end participation in the programme.

Contact details

For more information please email Susan Mandla

Tel: +27 (0)51 436 3530

Last updated on 19 October 2015
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