Friday, November 9, 2012

Dublin Zoo - Teacher Training and Summer Camp Madness, Summer 2012

I was invited in to work with Dublin Zoo this summer on their teacher training course and on their summer camps. They have a purpose built school garden now in the zoo with a vegetable patch, fruit area, composter and pond for dipping in, as well as a purpose built classroom and a kind of urban farm next door complete with cows, sheep, goats and pigs.
I spent 2 days teaching primary teachers about how to set up their own organic school garden, I covered garden design elements and how to re-design your school grounds, seeding seeds, planting potatoes and science in the garden experiments.
The summer camps were run over 5 weeks during the summer, I was only doing one day a week on them, and fair play to the rest of the staff in the zoo for doing them full time during that time, don't know if I would have had the energy! I did some veg tasting, seed in a pot, mini-gardens,pond dipping and bug hunting in the school garden, it was a busy day in the zoo.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Team Willow rocking it at Body and Soul Festival June 2012

I returned for a second time to the Body & Soul Festival at Ballinlough Castle in Co. Westmeath with an increased Team Willow in tow this time! Myself and Cathy Eastman (good friend from days working down at Kerry Earth Education Project - see link below!) led team willow. Our main project was building and decorating the main entrance into the main stage area, see piccys below. We combined tissue and willow discs with a simple criss-cross willow fence at the base, and our saviour Rob built us the basic archway on which to erect all our art work! We also made large dry willow and tissue trees which decorated the main stage area, the usual ground lanterns in the woods, a few other small projects, oh and most importantly, there was a festival baby born to our decor boss while we were there! very exciting!

Woodland Heritage Project in Wicklow

Early in 2012 we received LA21 funding from Wicklow County Council to run a  Woodland heritage Education Programme in Hollywood Woods,, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow. We worked with four different primary schools in the local area, bring them to the woods for a complete woodland immersion day. We played tracking and hide and sneak game, we deprived the kids of their sight by blindfolding them and leading them through the woods, we hunted for the bugs of the woodland, we tasted all the tasty edibles there are to be found in the ditches, looked at the trees talked about plants and their uses, we packed loads in and the day just flew, with the kids going home exhilarated and mucky and totally immersed in the woods! Job done!

For this project I linked up with my good friend and colleague Ciara Hinksman at Earthforce Education, you can check out what Ciara does here: