Number 1 - May 2007
BGCI Education Team
Welcome to BGCI's newly expanded Education E-update. Originally an email newsletter for plant-based educators in the United States, Education E-update has gone international. When we surveyed our network of educators last year, nearly all of you requested regular email communications, news and networking from BGCI. Education E-update aims to provide you with just that. Each monthly issue will include news updates from BGCI and botanic gardens around the world; links to education resources and materials you can use in your programmes; profiles of plant-based conservation educators and programmes; and ideas and feedback from our readers. We hope you will enjoy this new education resource from BGCI and welcome your contributions for future issues.
The BGCI Education Team
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Education News from Around the World
Botanic Garden Educators Head to South Africa in 2009: We're pleased to announce that BGCI's 7th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens will be hosted by Durban Botanic Gardens in South Africa in November 2009. Put the date in your diary now and start planning your participation.
French Botanic Garden Educators Set Meeting Date: The fourth meeting of French botanic garden educators will be held from November 13-15, 2007, at the Jardin Botanique de Lyon. The meeting will feature two main themes: working with preschool children and setting up an educational area in a botanic garden. For more information, contact NoÈmie Rothstein.
Call for Papers for the Third Australasian Congress, "Building Partnerships": Botanic Gardens of Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ) are running the congress from Oct. 11-14, 2007, at Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton, New Zealand. Abstracts are requested by June 1 for papers and workshops addressing the congress themes including, "Engaging with the community", "Botanic garden as a visitor attraction", "The educative role of botanic gardens", and "Building Partnerships". For more information, visit the Hamilton Gardens website.
Send us news from your botanic garden or plant conservation education site and we'll include it in an upcoming issue of Education E-update. Email us your news.
Tools You Can Use
CEPA Toolkit: This web-based toolkit offers you information to update your knowledge and skills in communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) with fact sheets, checklists and practical examples from all over the world. Visit the CEPA website for more information.
Looking to Improve Your Latin? How to pronounce the Latin names of plants confuses many a plant-based educator. This website from Cape West Publishing takes the mystery out of making sense of Latin taxonomic names.
Raising Awareness About Invasive Plants in South Africa: The Working for Water programme offers a downloadable PDF poster, highlighting environmentally friendly practices and information about invasive plants.
New Mediterranean Garden Resource: The new SA Water Mediterranean Garden at the Adelaide (Australia) Botanic Garden is a storyboard of ideas based around living sustainability with Adelaide's Mediterranean environment. Five storylines of fire, water, threat, people and garden design underpin the central interpretive theme and provide the basis for an activity-rich curriculum resource, "Living with the Land". It's available as a series of PDFs from the discovery trails section of the Garden's schools website.
Send us your tools that plant-based educators can use, and we'll include them in an upcoming issue of Education E-update. Email us your tools.
In each issue of Education E-update, we'll ask for your comments or ideas regarding a contemporary education issue or question relevant to plant-based conservation education. The issue of climate change continues to dominate environmental discourse around the globe. Tell us how you use plants to teach about climate change, and we'll share your ideas with readers around the world in the next issue. Submit your ideas and experiences online.
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In the Spotlight
In each issue of Education E-update, we shine the spotlight on an innovative plant conservation education programme or educator. If you would like to be "in the spotlight," email us at
In the spotlight this month:
Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, Bangalore, India
Eighty percent of the world's population relies on traditional medicine, much of it plant-based, for their primary healthcare needs. In Bangalore, India, the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) is working to preserve and strengthen traditional Indian medical traditions through education and conservation. The FRLHT campus includes an ethno-medicinal garden, India's first medicinal plant herbarium, laboratories, a library, training facilities and even an Ayurvedic nursing home. FRLHT's Suma Tagadur Sureshchandra recently completed the International Diploma Course in Botanic Garden Education, sponsored by BGCI and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Currently, education programmes at FRLHT include medicinal plant gardening tools and support for schools, on-site and off-site visits, and a collaborative education project with the National Botanical Research Institute. Additionally, a new CD-ROM, "Neighbourhood Medicinal Plants for School Children of Bangalore City," is being used to help students taking part in FRLHT- sponsored nature clubs to learn more about the medicinal plants they identify during outdoor activities. Plans are also underway to add new programme offerings, including interpretive materials, educational games, and discovery stations.
For more information, visit the FRLHT website or email Suma Tagadur Sureshchandra.
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Roots is BGCI's international education review journal for botanic gardens. Published twice a year, Roots covers topics including teacher training, adult and public education, and education planning. This issue's theme is, "Linnaeus: still relevant 300 years on?"
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