The Hénaff high school created a garden in its courtyard. It’s a tranquil heaven for living species: vegetables, plants and insects. In this dense urban area in which too little green space can be seen, biodiversity thrives, is nurtured and observed.
The school community launched a Garden Club where 30 students, aged 16-19 years old and 3 teachers meet twice a week to maintain and take care of the garden. These working sessions are open to external visitors. Together, they created a seed bank to exchange seeds with external partners and produced vegetables to be cooked by the chef of the school canteen. They collaborated with policy makers from their region, teachers, a primary school and a neighboring community garden.
This living lab project demonstrates that it’s possible to bring biodiversity back to a school’s concrete courtyard. It allows students from various backgrounds to meet and engage in food production. The garden empowers students to understand and protect the nature world. They take part in the development of a more welcoming and sustainable school environment. The garden also creates opportunities for the school community to meet, beyond the regular teaching context: parents discover a more welcoming space in which their children spend most of their time.
This project was laureate of the regional “Green Hackaton challenge” in 2019 and got funding to purchase gardening equipment such as a watering station for the summer vacation when the garden needs watering and fewer people are around to take care of it.