Worksheets, newsletters and self-guided trails can all be invaluable resources for teachers, youth workers and community groups to use. However, a poorly designed resource can reflect badly on the garden and at the worst put people off learning about plants, conservation and sustainability.
The most important thing to do when designing resources is to start with your aims and objectives – what do you want users to gain from this product? You then need to focus on your audience – are they young, old, in a school group, by themselves, with their family or something else? Your answers to these questions will determine the style, content, font, layout and level of difficulty of your resource.Of course, to check you have this all right, you must evaluate your resource before it is used by the general public – see our section on evaluation to see how this can be done!
For some ideas and examples see the articles below and for development of a self-guided trail and worksheet see Bill Graham’s guide from the environmental education in botanic gardens training course, run at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden, South Africa in 1998.
For more information on developing interpretation and self guided trails, have a look at the section on interpretation and the SABONET publication, ‘Making your garden come alive – Environmental Interpretation in Botanical Gardens’.
Excellent publication, providing inspiration, ideas and guidelines to developing your own interpretation on site - from guided trails, to panels (design and production), to visitor orientation. Great document to start with when your interpretation needs renewing, revamping or creating.
Brief checklist on designing a garden trail.
Looking at the who, what, why and how of worksheets.
Newsletters can take your message out of the garden to a far greater audience than you would otherwisebe able to reach through tours or education programmes. Thisarticle concentrates on the twobasic ingredients needed to produce a good newsletter: writing and design, asboth need to be considered if a newsletter is to be effective.It also includes guidelines onproduction, printing and distribution.
The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) are developing a modern botanic garden in Nairobi. This is a unique case of a modern botanic garden sharing the same grounds with a museum. Though still in its infancy and not yet fully developed, the NMK Nairobi Botanic Garden has already become part of a growing world-wide movement in making Environmental Education (EE) accessible to everyone. Its education mission is "To provide opportunities for individuals to acquire knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to protect and improve the environment". To fulfill this goal they have developed a wide range of different resources and materials.
More Than Words Can Say - when is a library not just a collection of books and materials?
The answer - when it is the springboard for imagination, commitment and inspiration; when it is the avenue for unlimited possibilities; when it is the means for teachers to develop confidence in themselves and in their teaching methods for the benefit of their students.