Day one of the Australian Association for Environmental Education conference found us on the eco-education tour. We visited CERES and the Port Phillip Eco Centre, but more on those in a later post.
I want to begin with the Royal Botanical Gardens of Melbourne and its Children’s Garden.
This is a fantastic nature space for children of all ages to explore and have fun, and in the process learn to appreciate nature. It is more informal education, rather than a formal one, but the children love it, by all accounts.
It is a safe place, completely walled in with one child proof gate, but it also has several distinct spaces within the garden, including a bamboo forest, pond, tea tree grove, rock garden, open grassed area, vegie garden, shelter, tree fern garden – the list goes ever on.
I really like the concept that children are encouraged to just play, using their own imagination and explore what nature has to offer. It is an extremely important aspect of every child’s life and will encourage the next generation to have a connection to nature that so many of us are missing in the modern world.
If you can get here to check it out for yourself, do so. It’s well worth the visit.
Well done to the Melbourne Botanical Gardens, and hopefully more such spaces can be developed in community gardens, schools and backyards all around the whole globe.