SEED Sharing Environmental Education methods for adults

Grundtvig Learning Partnership 2011-1-RO1-GRU06-14995 8

Project Duration: 01.08.2011 - 31.07.2013

 

 

Together with partners from Romania, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Sweden the coneed eG Bildungswerk participated in this project about environmental education. The input from coneed eG will be to inform and to work on sustainable development and nature protection farming and gardening. Social and educational aspects will be included by the topic rural development.

 

 
 

 

Project Summary:

 

The SEED "Sharing Environmental EDucation methods for adults" aims at collecting, sharing and valorizing best practices in the field of lifelong learning environmental education, with special emphasis on non-formal and informal adult education methods and initiatives. During the first project year each partner organization will collect best practices in non-formal and informal environmental education of adults. These best practices will be collected according to commonly agreed descriptors and will be presented in a database on a web site dedicated to the project as well as through various social media. 3 transnational project meetings will be organized in the first year. Coinciding with the project meetings  in-situ visits will be paid to outstanding environmental education locations in the host country (bird-watch, Natura 2000 sites, national nature reserves, establishments for recycling, sites for green agriculture, etc.)

During the second year 2 of the partner organizations will host 2 environmental workshops where best practices in environmental education (identified in the first year)  will be piloted within the transnational project group, which will include environmental volunteers (as trainees) coming from the various countries.  As a final outcome a comparative report of the collected/studied/shared/valorized best practice education models will be published, together with a short amateur documentary film presenting non-formal and informal environmental education for adults, as conceived throughout the learning partnership project.

 

 

Kick off meeting in Portugal

 

In the middle of November 2011 the first project meeting took place in Lisbon/Portugal. It has been organized by the

Portuguese Colleagues from Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidad. The partners use the time to present their organizations

and get more information about project background, objectives, targets and how the work (collecting best practices,

website, dissemination, further dates for project meetings) will be done.  Also workshops took place, to come nearer to

the topic environmental education of adults.

 

A visit to an environmental education institution informs about running activities in this case in the region Lisbon.

It was decided, that the next meetings will be in April 2012 in Italy, in July 2012 in Spain and in October 2012

in Germany.

 

 
 
 

Knowledge about sustainable development is looking for formal and informal pathways

 

Example: Agriculture teaching trail / Process working / Dissemination

 

Agriculture and local development in itself needs long term thinking

Example: Agriculture teaching trail Rastede

In our days there is less information about the complex relationship between landscape development, local possibilities in environment protection and economy perspectives.  Second is the question, how to get older and younger ones more sensitive for those kind of issues.

Based on these ideas, 12 years ago, in the village Rastede (Lower Saxony, Germany) an initiative of adult educators, environmental information center and local school realize an AGRICULTURE TEACHING TRAIL.

Mainly important is the process to deal with the topic, the pathway how to get information, to interact with the people living in the area and not at least to get a feeling of reasons, why it´s important to take more care about natural and culture treasures!

The main topics are, (1) to inform about landscape, agriculture, environment protection, flora and fauna in the local area, (2) to show how the inhabitants deal currently with these circumstances and (3) how people can be get more interested to take care of environment and to be more engaged in doing this. And all the time is was also an important aspect to have a view an sustainable economic demands.  Main aspects are collected in a little booklet, which can be used by interested people, to get information and to get access to this local region, while walking on the agriculture teaching trail.

 
 

Local (gardening) products are offered in a village exhibition.

 
 

Learning by local studies

To develop the agriculture trail and the accompanying booklet - the process uses nearly half a year - school pupils get in contact with the local inhabitants, make interviews, get different feedback, present the result in the newspaper and on exhibitions.  The sensitive view on the topic grows more and more through all involved persons / institutions. Further the local farm-shop, the municipality, the environment education center and the rural adult education provider delivered information to all people, who are interested. So while preparing teaching trail and booklet lot of people become interested, often in a non-formal or informal way.

 

Find a media to inform the interested audience - Find supporters

Using the booklet Landwirtschaftlicher Lehrpfad Rastede interested people can use the trail, to be in real touch with the topic and to find a lot of information for more understanding about the area. So the booklet is the medium, added by some other components on the trail: information points, points for viewing and benches to rest, to enjoy and to have time for thinking. The printing of the booklet was supported by environment protection foundation Lower Saxony.

 

Disseminate experiences

The project idea can be used on all other places, where innovative pathways be needed, to inform society about the history, the goods which need be protected and about the advantages to develop a local region, including current economic aspects. 6 years after preparation, the same project was realized in international project about agriculture / water protection and local regional development with a region in south Portugal.

 
 

 

Sustainable economic development

Connected with the teaching trail an international German and Portuguese team worked on economic promotion ideas for the locals in the area. So you can see in the map above the marks about Production and Sale , which directly connected with chances in local work offers and trade. But also other offers in like Experience, Knowledge and Learn include possibilities for inhabitants to offer services, to use the Treasures of the region for economic development in really new and needed offers.

 

So the teaching trail is constructed as an educational institution Pointing on the main topic water/agriculture the ecological, touristic and economic targets are to be linked together . By integration of ecological working farmers/craftsmen into the project additional marketing opportunities can be created for them.

 

The project idea even continuous in other places: The booklet Landwirtschaftlicher Lehrpfad had a second edition some years later and in 2010 the idea about project process has been transferred to Denmark.

 

 

View on study visits in Florence, Italy, April 2012: Altre Mani social needs and environment protection

Hereby you can find some of the impressions of the participants about visiting Altre Mani- an institution, which in addition to fulfilling a social need, uses recycled organic materials to provide an eco-friendly approach to furnishing a home.

Altre Mani: New products from recycling organic materials

 

Isabel Dias Nunes ISQ Portugal:

It was really interesting for me to visit Altre Mani and know the great job that they do

in environmental education and social integration of disadvantaged people. The materials and techniques are simple but very creative and the final results are really impressive. This project is an excellent example of a good practice in Social Responsibility and Sustainability and should be disseminated in all Italy and other European countries.

Sefa Gürbüz - Sivas Tukey:

We met really interesting stuff. It was the first time we have seen such things and we find it

innovating and extraordinary. It was interesting to see the different recycling ideas applied. The use of organic materials might raise the interest as far as recyleing is concerned. Such ideas/works help us becoming sensitive to nature and the fact that it is combined with social

responsability (involving disadvantaged people in the production process) is added value to the project.

Susanne och Nisse Malmberg Ovanĺkers FN-förening Sweden:

That grape, onionskins, tea bags could be beautiful, colorful and useful interior, was an inspiring and different way to take care of recycled materials that usually belongs in the compost. Used teabags became golden lampshades. The leftovers from grapes became ookcovers, colored red by the grapes skin.They also combined this with jobcoaching. An intresting and creative idea that was facinating to see

View on study visits in Zaragosa, Spain, July 2012: Environmental Education Center (Ebro River)

The partnership attended Francisco Pellicer s presentation about the Green and Blue Grid of Zaragosa. The Municipality of Zaragosa within the Green and Blue Grid program has created the Centro Ambiental del Ebro (Ebro Environmental Centre) for the implementation of works, projects and actions to improve the environmental landscape quality of Zaragosa and to spread its values.

Zaragosa s Green and Blue Grid is formed by its river banks, big open areas, squares, urban parks, urban orchards and natural spaces. All these elements are linked by green rings, biological paths, pedestrian and cycling trails.

The Green and Blue Grid program has a double aim: On one hand the ecological revitalization of the city and on the other boosting healthy recreational and educational activities for people to enjoy urban green areas, rural and natural environments.Applied research is developed in collaboration with universities, high research centers and other similar institutions from other cities. In order to spread the ecological values of Zaragosa, the Environmental Centre of the Ebro, in open collaboration with similar institutions, schedules exhibitions, courses, thematic days, conferences and other activities related to the enjoyment of city nature and the assessment of landscape diversity. The Environmental Centre of the Ebro coordinates actions on the planning of the green rings and belts, the program of urban orchards and the activity Parks with Heart .

It is also a platform for activities on environmental education boosted by public and private entities.

 

 

SEED workshop in Bad Zwischenahn (Germany) 06.11.2012 - 09.11.2012

 

Starting with general exchange about the last project months (project process, review timetable and report 4th project phase) the workshop starts with the first topic Feel landscape, taste local products and listen to people .

 

So the 19 participants from 7 countries got information about methods of no formal environmental education in the Elmendorf forest. The educational trail through the forest gave not only information about plants, trees and animals. Main point was also to feel like partner of nature and to have very personal impressions of natural environment.

 

Afterwards the group visited the Fishery Rabben (family company), presented by the owner: The small family fishery is the only one near lake Zwischenahn and has a long history. Today lot of tourist´s come up to this place, to find a different surrounding in contrast to other urban places. To sit outside in the garden, to listen to the fisherman´s explanations and to enjoy lake, wind and landscape. Nearby was the farm shop Eyting in the village Gristede. Here it was possible to taste local farm products and to hear important information about sustainable farming and environment protection.

 

Lecturer Juliane Smalla demonstrated how to get in "contact with plants" and to learn about them.

 
 

On the 2nd workshop day the group walked on the old church trail from the village Ohrwege to Bad Zwischenahn. They passed forest´s, fields, settlements, small rivers and feel the atmosphere of landscape and spiritual impact of moving. By listening to the guide, the attention was attract on hidden treasure left and right the path. Methods of no formal environment education and interaction between nature und people was topic for the visit in Park der Gärten near Lake Zwischenahn. In an unusual way the lecturer presented plants and trees, and shows pathways to win the attention of the visitors and to transfer knowledge by touching nature.

 
 
 
 
 

Not formal and informal environment education in Romania. Workshop in Miercurea Ciuc , April 2013.

 

An excerpt of important aspects and local experiences:

  

Mohos Nature Reserve / Mohos Marsh

The Mohos Marsh are considered to be unique in Europe. These natural miracle is formed by a volcanic crater of the Csomad Mountain. The crater is about 1050 m above sea level. The unique vegetation and fauna used to endangered by seasonal grazing, uncontrolled tourism as well as by forest fruit picking. As a result of a successful tender, with the support of the Environmental Partnership Foundation, the Association of Nature Conversation was able, to build a walkway bridge over the peat bog.

 

Ecological life eco village near Miercurea Ciuc

An ecological family household with some activities in farming and gardening was presented. The family shows alternative ways how to live in a sustainable way and e.g. to work with traditional methods in using the land. An aspect was also the use common grassland with local cattle. The family and their friends are interested to present and to teach about their way of life to an interested audience. Some cabins are built near the farm to house guests /volunteers, which are interested in these topics.

 

Salt Gorge Praid Nature Reserve

To taste salty spring water and to try the salty mud public bath are two important points during walking on the salt pass in this protected area. In 2011 a 1 km long nature trail was developed with 7 stopping points with information boards on the area of the Salt Pass. Guides inform about the natural objects. Often the information boards are destroyed and waste can be found near the trail = so it needs a lot of commitment from people for their natural reserve and the clarify about the natural treasure in this region.

The trail informs about natural objects and allows to get in direct touch with the element salt.

 
 
 

How to manage environmental education?  Individual answers from Häsingland /Sweden

In the first days of June 2013 the Swedish and German partners in the SEED project start for a specific task:  To collect individual information and opinions about significance and methods of Environmental Education in Rural Areas. The Swedish project colleagues show the development of environmental protection activities in the last decades and how it´s now integrated into daily life.

Examples were given by the waste disposal site in Bollnäs, where the manager informs about all activities to separate waste and to recycle the collected resources. Also they offer a extensive information program for people and especially for school children.   

Ecological farming and their PR-Work was presented in Svedbovallen, where a  summer pasture is reactived, to inform about sustainable land using in historic times and how it is now be used for production healthy farm products.

 

 

Ecological gardening needs experience. Good if practical examples can be presented.

 

In Langhed a family run a small ecological farm, also old knowledge about gardening is secured. The visitors can get information about product process and discuss with the owner. Also pottery is prepared here. To open such places for guests is the chance, to get more attention for ecological way of living.

During the stay,  the project team uses always the opportunity, to make a short video interviews with professionals who work directly with environmental issues and other people, who are interested in the topic.  Later on  this video will show, how strong people are engaged for environmental issues und sustainable future development, http://youtu.be/xMSOw2Ft5IY

 

 
 
 
 

To see nature parks in Sivas, to be proud of local products and to disseminate project results

 

In the last project meeting SEED in Sivas/Turkey at first the general topics have been discussed: The progress of project, the 4th newsletter, preparing the final report and further cooperation possibilities. In sum all partners agreed about these project steps and the coordinator will get the necessary information in time.

 

Then it has been real interesting to visit the environmental projects of the Municipality. In the AKSU (Pure Water) Project an old river has been changed into public walking area and park. In the   PAşABAHÇE (Pasha Garden) project, a picnic place replanted and made environment arrangement for public.

 

The partner group Sivas Education Center of Textile and Handicrafts itself presented their school. Some of the in the lessons produced clothes got sell in the school store . By this way (1) students learn how to present products to customers, (2) to inform about sustainability and quality of local production processes and (3) last not least  to be proud of own handicraft talent.

Local handicraft products - prepared by students - are presented in the school store.

 
Finally - for project dissemination -  the international team prepared a short television program about the project in the studio of Sivas Radio and Television.


PART I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGKYlszC3rM
PART II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8p7nBzWX44

A recorded version (CD) will be posted  to all partners for own dissemination activities in their own country. The program contains the following topics:   Grundtvig Learning Partnership SEED in general, the introduction of participants and comments about learning environmental education methods and how to use in the own organization.
 
 
 
 

Sharing Environmental Educational Methods for Adults SEED / Comparative analysis report

 

One of the aims of the SEED Grundtvig learning partnership was to know about various environmental education programs, which are realizable in different countries in Europe. Partners from 8 countries collected 21 really feasible ideas, bearing in mind the following criteria: Problem statement, Solution/program, Resources, Impact, Transferability, and Sustainability.

Here are the three examples from Germany and the corresponding comparison with other countries in the project (an outline from final report):

 

 

First example:  The drinking water educational trail (DE)

Country: Germany

Region: Lower Saxony

Problem statement: In many regions tap water is of very high quality. Nevertheless people often prefer bottled water. This is problematic because the essentially unnecessary production, transportation and disposal of plastic bottles causes massive harm to the environment.

Solution/program: The drinking water educational trail was designed to inform about the tap water system in the region. It seeks to convince people of the quality, taste and high standards the tap water has to meet. This is compared to bottled water, which sometimes is not as closely monitored as tap water. Mostly there is common agreement that water from the tap is just as good or in many cases even better than bottled water. Furthermore explanations are given how the industry influences consumers to create artificial demand for bottled water. The enormous amount of resources which are needed to produce all the bottles and the impact to the environment are illustrated in simple examples.

Criterion 1 (resources): Educational trails could be established at the local public corporation, which is responsible for the water supply. In this case the educational trail is funded by the public NPO "OOWV"(www.oowv.de). They also provide staff for guided tours through the trails.
If financial resources are scarce, there is a possibility to spread the information online. "Infotainment" is the keyword to raise interest. There are entertaining, but at the same time very informing videos available online about this topic. They could also be shown in schools.

Criterion 2 (impact): It is expected that people can be brought back to reason by (1) illustrating the massive ecological damages caused by bottled water, (2) showing that they can save money by choosing the higher quality-product: tap water.

Criterion 3 (transferability): Good quality tap water is not available in all areas. For that reason transferability is limited. Nonetheless even in these areas investing in a better tap water system could be considered to become more independent of bottled water.

Criterion 4 (sustainability): There should be continuous promotion of the educational trail and a fixed implementation in school schedules in the area. The trail needs to be updated with current information and developments. In addition it has to be kept in good shape to appear reliable and appealing to visitors. Since the tap water organization have own interest in promoting their water, it should be possible to keep the program alive. The low costs of the program add to its sustainability.
Contact for more information and materials:
info@coneed.eu

 

Situation in SEED partner countries:

The water supplier of Tuscany Region, in Italy, has a big campaign to convince people on the benefits of drinking tap water (it s always available, cheaper, always under control, reduces plastic consumption). They offer the possibility to schools to organize visits. In Portugal almost all local public corporation responsible for the water supply promotes initiatives to raise awareness for the drinking of the tap water. You can find a video from a campaign here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOc2P7cmYoU

In Sweden, the quality of the water is really high, but people still buy bottled water it has been a trend to drink bottled water. The solution is to change this trend, and use the Swedish natural sources.

Unfortunately there are no similar initiatives in Spain, but as an idea, it is really good as a future plan.

In Romania there are quite a few of such initiatives. One of these is the "Mineral Water Trail" Greenway. This trail was created in Harghita County, in central Romania. The Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation and the Csík County Environmental and Nature Protection Association took the first steps in 2000 in order to make this initiative a reality. The existence of hundreds of effervescent mineral water baths and thousands of carbonic aerated mineral water springs with their healing effects was the perfect base for the creation of such kind of trail. The culture of mineral water bathing has been a tradition for hundreds of years in the micro-region of Csomád-Bálványos. This opportunity to celebrate a treasured tradition was embraced with great enthusiasm by the local communities. Thorugh the programme a Mineral Water Museum in the village of Tuşnad has been established which presents the mineral water bottling procedure.
More information at:
www.epce.ro/programok.php?id=19.

The other path we d like to mention is the Salt Trail , which connects Sângeorgiu de Mure!  and Praid, in Mures county, situated also in the central part of Romania. This trail  follows the old roman path and the medieval Szekler salt transportation way. Its lenght is more than 60 kms and its made up by footh paths and bicycle trails.

More information at: http://www.soutja.hu.

 

 

Second example:  Agriculture teaching trail Rastede how to learn and how to be more engaged (DE)

Country: Germany

Region: Lower Saxony

Problem statement: In our days there is less information about the complex relationship between landscape development, local possibilities in environment protection and economy perspectives. Second is the question, how to get older and younger ones more sensitive for those kind of issues.
Solution/program: The Agriculture teaching trail and the prepared booklet has the idea, (1) to inform about landscape, agriculture, environment protection, flora and fauna in the local area, (2) to show how the inhabitants deal currently with these circumstances and (3) how people can be get more interested to take care of environment and to be more engaged in doing this.
Criterion 1 (resources): The booklet Landwirtschaftlicher Lehrpfad Rastede was prepared by pupils from the local gymnasium. It was a half year project work. Using the booklet the interested people can use the trail, to be in real touch with the topic and to find a lot of information for more understanding about the area. So the booklet is the medium, added by some other components on the trail: information points, points for viewing and benches to rest, to enjoy and to have time for thinking. The printing of the booklet was supported by environment protection foundation Lower Saxony.
Criterion 2 (impact): To create the booklet the school pupils get in contact with the local inhabitants, make interviews, get different feedback, present the result in the newspaper and on exhibitions. The sensitive view on the topic grows more and more through all involved persons / institutions. Further the local farm-shop, the municipality and environment education center delivered information to all people, who are interested. So while preparing and (later on) using the booklet lot of people become interested, often in a non-formal or informal way.
Criterion 3 (transferability): The project idea can be used on all other places, where innovative pathways be needed, to inform society about the history, the goods which need to be protected and about the advantages to develop a local region. 6 years after preparation, the same project was realized in international project about water protection with a region in south Portugal.
Criterion 4 (sustainability): The booklet has had a second edition some 3 year later and a (international) follower six years later. In 2010 the idea was transferred to a partner in Denmark, who wants to deal with the topic in the same way. Materials are always available.
Contact for more information and materials:
info@coneed.eu

 

On the nature trail

 
 

Situation in partner countries:

In Italy raising awareness on the topic of environmental education is assigned to the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea and to NGOs and other associations, such as WWF and Legambiente. They offer different natural teaching trails to schools.

The most similar offer taking place in Portugal with this initiative is The School Farm of Olivia s, which offers annually, coinciding with the school year, a Plan of Activities with various cultural, educational and pedagogical pathways. These activities enhance the image of rural places including the various chores of farming, ranching and traditional kitchens (confectionery, dairy and bakery), pedagogical gardens and contact with animals, pottery and even various events related to the festivals and events of rural calendar. The Activities Plan is organized by trimester and is divided into: School Programs; Family Programs; Festivals and Memorial Days.

In Spain, there is a campaign, called Clean Aragon, to protect flowers and animals. The aim of this program is to follow the paths, and not to start plants, not to modify the landscapes.

Small educational farms can be found in Sweden around the bigger cities driven by an organization called 4H they educate children in a similar way.

In Romania, amongst others, we can mention  Valuing the mountain hay meadows project, implemented by the Pogány-havas microregion Partnership.

The main objective of the project is to make rural population and society in general understand and value the natural, cultural and economic aspects of the mountain hay meadows in the Eastern Carpathians and to ensure that local communities continue to use them in a sustainable manner. More information at: www.mountainhaymeadows.eu/index.php?lang=en.

 

 

Third example:  Landscape in a box A toolkit for sustainable economy (DE)

Country: Germany

Region: Lower Saxony

Problem statement: To be sensitive for sustainable regional development and nature protection it needs sometimes unusual ways to get attention of the public. So it´s not all done by presentation in seminar rooms and visit in the location, furthermore there has to be a strong personal link to the topic. To remember the context and the importance it needs personal relevance. To see, to be in contact, to taste and to feel the breath of landscape can be more effective than watch movies or power point presentations.
Solution/program: A field trip shows interested persons the sustainable economy activities in the region and all the time they will take a product of the visited places into a Landscape box : To visit a local butcher and have a discussion with him about marketing strategy Local farming products (meat into the box) / To go to the apple tree farmer and hear about the importance of variety of different local apple trees (apples and honey into the box) / To talk with employees in the bakery about regional working places (craft prepared bread into the box). To visit a protected area with sustainable forest economy and get impression what number of animals and plants are connected with the old trees (oak bark into the box).

Criterion 1 (resources): In paper baskets the guests collect the products of the visited companies, farms and initiatives. They consume local products and support local sustainable production without needing long traffic routes.

Criterion 2 (impact): The products are a medium to remind the visit, to think about it again and while consume to feel the smell of the landscape and the visited location again! So the visit and the information was not only fixed on the short time of visit/information, even in the next days they will be back again and can recall again the personal impression about what they have seen and feel. So it´s a more long term impact, even the learning effect becomes sustainable!

Criterion 3 (transferability): The project idea can be used on all other places, where innovative pathways be needed, to inform interested people about sustainable development in a region. Beside food you can also include handcraft product and (of course!) also industrial products = e.g. booklet out of recycled paper. So the efforts on sustainable economy are much more personal, visible and the method can be transferred to each region.

Criterion 4 (sustainability): This method for more personal approach about sustainable economy started 10 years ago. It´s now used in different regions to get into a closer contact to people s mind by the use of this non formal and informal way in environment education.
Contact for more information and materials:
info@coneed.eu  

 
 

Landscape feel and taste local food

 
 

Situation in partner countries:

There are no similar initiatives taking place at the moment in Romania, Spain and Italy. In Spain, CSA, called a Community Supported Agriculture Program, is a program with the goal, of putting together all those who use farm-grown products, (and that is almost all of us), and the Aragon farmers who grow them. This system works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can get a subscription to the producer s service for either a growing season or for the whole year.

There are similar projects, in Sweden, in the big cities but not in the country side. The problem is that children in the cities have never seen a cow or a sheep. They believe that a fish looks like the frozen fish blocks in the superstore, there is still a lot to do.

 
 

 

- General information about projekt with several links: www.seed2011.eu

- SEED projekt on facebook with current news: www.facebook.com/pages/SEED-Project/163142377118257

- Project product SE/DE, personal views on methods in environmental education http://youtu.be/xMSOw2Ft5IY

- Project contact coneed eG Bildungswerk: ahlers@coneed.eu