Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Mini Gardens

Stimulated by a display of "mini-gardens" at the Northwest Flower Show in Seattle, Washington, VanDusen Botanical Garden and the Vancouver Board of Parks challenged their "Partners in Education" schools to participate in a unique project to celebrate "Earth Day - 1992".

School children were invited to show their concern for the planet Earth by planting a mini-garden in a standard "planting flat" (a tray approximately 50cm x 25cm x 8cm). The tray could be filled with soil, sand, or any other suitable medium. Students were encouraged to produce a "garden" which demonstrated their concern for the planet Earth. They were encouraged to use seeds, live plants, twigs, figures, or models to create a garden showing how the Earth should look. Finally, they were asked to write a story, poem or essay to explain what their garden represented.

Teachers, students and parents strongly supported the idea. The result was an amazing display of concern and creativity in more than one hundred and fifty gardens produced by students in three schools. This project demonstrated the children's deep concern for our planet and displayed their awareness of the need for conservation of the Earth's precious and dwindling resources.

Mini-Gardens can be used in a variety of ways and with a wide range of age-groups to focus on a number of environmental concerns and problems - or to demonstrate positive feelings and ideas held by the "gardeners".