The Garden As A Living Classroom30 April
The Garden As A Living Classroom
Education is important to us. It is integral to our mission and part of our vision we have been quietly pursing in the background for the last two years. We are excited to help further education for learners of all levels, from a day trip garden visitor to a graduate student studying biodiversity. Our garden is a living classroom not only ripe with fruit but with lessons for those who are looking to expand their world. When we closed our gates in response to COVID-19 we were devastated to be shutting off our resource for learning just as we were starting to act on our new vision of not just being a garden but serving as a bioreserve. Our team was quick to respond post closure and created a new program called “Teachers In The Garden”. This exciting new opportunity is a multi-phase initiative created to fit the learning challenges and constraints in the post COVID-19 education environment. Each phase covers a broad range of topics from horticulture and ocean themed curriculum to more focused themes as we progress.
Teachers are allowed individual time at the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve & Garden to augment their lesson plans with real time streaming, recorded video, or pictures for continuing online education. We built a guided curriculum template designed around what you see while walking the garden and what is currently in bloom. As we launched this program we knew ensuring safety and distancing was a priority so each visit is staggered by one-hour blocks and we disinfect surfaces between visits to minimize exposure.
We empathize with the situation our local educators face during this pandemic and saw an opportunity to offset some of the difficulty. Our vision is for HTBG to provide a top-notch space for online learning access and hopefully one day in the future to serve as a place for experiential learning. We value our role as an organization to highlight the importance of sustainability, protecting biodiversity and appreciating the relationship between people, plants and our oceans in today’s rapidly changing climate.
If you need some ideas for learning at home with your student, you can find the guided curriculum prompts we developed-Phase 1 Final TITG Guide. We are still evolving this program so if you are interested in taking part please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Mahalo to all teachers for doing their part in keeping our youth on track during this strange time in our world. Education is key!