Posted in school holiday programme

Native Plant Survival Challenge

Learn about native plants while you have fun!

A great school holiday programme activity is a native plant survival challenge. We simply pick a selection of specific native plants (or print some photos of certain ones if we can’t get hold of  them e.g. flowers or fruit depending on the time of the year). These native plants are laid out on a table, and kids with their families have to match which plants are used for which activities in the bush. E.g. Rangiora leaves (Brachiglottis) is used as toilet paper – which as you can imagine the kids love to learn.

Native plant survival challengeWe set up six sets of the same activity to handle large numbers of people.

native plant challenge layout

At the end of the challenge, kids are encouraged to draw a picture of what they would take into the bush, which we then add to a portfolio they leave with us, or take home with them.

Kids and parents alike love learning about how useful native plants are, and always enjoy this activity as a family. It’s simple, cheap (we created the cards once and use them repeatedly) and a wonderful way to enthuse visitors about plants.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Stewardship of Endemic Endangered Species Project – Botanic Gardens of South Australia

Baby Boomers have been arguably the most impactful of generations for the earth’s environment.

But what of the current generation of young people still at school?

What is their awareness of conservation and of the natural environment?

If the Mission Australia’s Youth Surveys* are observed, it would appear the environment is not even on their radar. Perhaps global warming is just too big and too hard for the average year 9 student to feel as though they can make a difference, after all it appears that their elders can’t manage to do so…….

What are the opportunities for them to become involved in and passionate about conservation were they feel as though their efforts do make a difference?

SEEDS is a program that gives them the opportunity and the passion. A collaboration between the Seed Conservation Centre of SA, the SA Seed Bank, schools and students called SEEDS (Stewardship of Endemic Endangered Species) is doing just that.

Real science, real conservation and real passion.

Stewards of today – Environmentalists of tomorrow.

The aims of the SEEDS Project is to:

  • increase students and teachers knowledge and awareness of environmental stewardship
  • provide an opportunity for students to be involved in direct conservation
  • involve students with scientists and effective science as part of STEM and to also raise awareness of the broader community regarding plant conservation.

Environmentally, we are seeing direct benefits to threatened species conservation, increased knowledge that may further assist threatened species recovery strategies, engagement of school communities in environmental stewardship and support plant recovery programs.

Further information click here

 

In securing the future of the planet, we secure happiness for ourselves. One of the aims of the Greens is to turn around the tide of pessimism amongst the young people of the world.

Bob Brown

 

* Footnote – The 2013 Mission Australia Annual Survey of Young People shows the Environment has dropped as an identified major issue from 37% in 2011 to 11.7% in 2014. Perhaps it is because the only thing young people are empowered to do about environmental issues is to put the rubbish in the correct bin and turn off the tap when they clean their teeth!

Posted in Botanic Garden, Interpretation

Who Did That? Children’s Trail

Who did that intro signHungry caterpillar signTree spinning wheel_Page_1

There are many facets to a botanic gardens. Visitors enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the outdoor space and engaging with the plant displays. Children like to explore for plants and animals that inhabit a garden.

To cater for a child’s inquisitive mind the Australian National Botanic Gardens has recently opened a children’s trails – Who Did That? The trail uses animal models and interactive signage to explore the relationship between animals and plants.

The trail was developed by Gardens’ Visitor Services Ranger Katy Penman and features beautiful artwork and poetry created by Katy. Examples of Katy’s artwork and words can be seen in accompanying images. The use of original artwork is a highlight of this trail.

We hope you get the chance to enjoy the Who Did That? children’s trail.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Pizza Plants – kids trail

Pizza plantsAs part of our current display (which is all about which plants are in our food), we’ve put together a garden trail for kids.
The pizza plants trail is designed to encourage children and families to grow simple plants at home that can then be used as tasty pizza toppings. We have a trail guide that can be picked up at our visitor centre, and then a series of signs in our edible garden and herb garden highlighting the relevant plants and their uses.
Kids are then also encouraged to pick up an envelope of beetroot seeds to grow at home once they have completed the trail.
Garden trails are very popular here at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, and we have printed 5000 copies to be distributed over the three month period of the theme.

Pizza plants inner
Inner page of the Pizza Plants kids trail – including map, list of plants to check as they find them and colouring in.
Pizza plants back
Front and back pages of the kids trail – the A4 sheet is folded twice times to form a DLE.
trail sign
Example of a trail sign that can be found in the garden as part of the pizza plants trail. Signs are 600mm in diameter and printed on ACM which can be reskinned for subsequent use.
Posted in Botanic Garden, displays, Interpretation

Which plants are in our foods?

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Our autumn display at the Auckland Botanic Gardens is all about which plants are in our foods, and the importance of plants in the world. The display runs from mid-March to May. It  will include a large visitor centre display of 2.4m high groceries (photos to come), videos of crop and food production, a kid’s trail (all about pizza!), a painted mural on one of our walls and interactive activities throughout our visitor centre (such as a ‘spice tour’ of spices under the microscope, a snack station featuring the plant ingredients in our snacks and a garden party ‘sniffer station’ to engage the senses and guess the plants used to make some of our favourite party foods).

The aim of the display is to highlight the importance of plants, and to encourage visitors to grow some simple food plants at home. Continue reading “Which plants are in our foods?”