Education will always be the core of the work that we are doing here at the gardens, with the aim of creating relationships between people and plants.
Whether it is the day long visits from the local schools, the programs with the local women’s groups, or the interactions we have with representatives of government,institutions and corporates, we are attempting to show people that the natural world is inspiring, beautiful and essential to our continued well being.
We receive schools from all over India with the focus on creating happy memories associated with the natural world. Each child will have a different level of interest in what we are showing, however we try to tailor the interactions we have so that we can speak on many levels to the groups, exposing them to the various aspect of the gardens we have created.
Whether we are introducing them to the native species that form the most stable vegetation type of the area, or medicinal plants that can serve them in maintaining their health, or even showing them thesolar panels and windmill that we use to power the gardens, the focus is always on providing a positive message of action and engagement.
The visits of the local women’s groups is always a lively affair, as their interest in plants is keen and practical.
They often have their own knowledge of the uses of the local plants, either for medicine or as religious offerings, which they are keen to share with the rest of the group.
Thus each visit is an exchange where we can share our accumulated knowledge and add more as the regional variations are revealed.
They also take great delight in seeing new varieties of flowers, as the appreciation of beauty is inherent in all layers of Indian society.
When groups of teachers come to the gardens for a training in environmental education the aim is to provide clear and demonstrative examples of the knowledge that the teachers already have.
The general awareness in India of the need to conserve the environment is already there, but often the task seems so large and overwhelming that it is difficult to know where to start.
By sharing our experience of working with groups, and giving precise information about plant species and their uses, we are able to develop the capacity of the teachers to impart knowledge to their students.
It is also an important way to network our work, as more often than not the teachers make efforts to return to the gardens with their students.
The 2019 Diary
This year in our diary we are celebrating ponds and water bodies, as they are important resources for wildlife and aid us in our quest to support the conservation of Biodiversity.
Once Upon a Pond
Our latest foray into the publishing world sees the launch of our coloring book for young children. Entitled “Once upon a Pond” if follows an eventful day in the life of Freddy the Frog as he deals with social rejection, interspecies predation and eventual recognition for his heroic acts of selfness.
Once Upon a Tree
The Smile of the Acacia
Once upon a time, a young tree, an acacia found himself all alone after a scary stormy night. Pushing his roots into the ground, pushing its branches towards the sky, he will find Joy in his work, in his life; he will eventually find his role in the forest. May the young readers discover the language of the trees and learn to protect them.
This booklet is an introduction to the dyeing plants of Tamil Nadu and how to use them.