On the 10th of April 2018 CTRIA built a community and educational garden for mild intellectually disabled students in Székesfehérvár. CTRIA team, students, teachers and other stakeholders were actively involved in the process. CTRIA team monitored the building of the garden step by step from the beginning but without the willing and enthusiasm of students this lovely garden could not be established.
The result was very successful. After three local workshops that aimed the planning of the garden we wanted to involve the students in the building process as well and after the building day we can say that we managed to reach their participation. The students were completely willing and happy to create the garden by participating with a great sense of responsibility and pleasure. The aim was to create 3 raised beds, a compost place, a community space and a fire place based on the plans that were designed together. Every step has involved everyone who wanted to join to prove themselves and to express their own skills. So, this flexible method was the real success because everyone had the opportunities to learn by doing and to learn different things.
But we will not stop after the establishment of the garden. The gardening work and education has already started and now it is hightime to continue with the management of the garden and with monitoring the processes, of course with the involvement of the students and their teachers. In addition, we will synthesize the knowledge and experience that were gained and created during the planning and establishment of the garden and that could be used in the future for similar projects. According to our experiences a community garden is not just nice and gratifying, but example that should be replicated in primary and secondary schools to spread gardening knowledge, sense of community and have fun together.
The first step was collecting pallets for the construction of the raised beds for the garden. The pallets were donated by local companies.
Students were immediately involved in the process of the construction of three raised beds by cutting the wood, fixing and painting it with a special oil for wood.
Ensuring a good gardening the raised beds need to be coated inside with a textile so that plants can grow better after watering them
After that, the best moment came. Students started to throw the soil inside the raised beds. They were very excited. They felt the very protagonists of the community garden, not just the recipients, by getting in touch with the soil and be the creators.
The community garden is nicer if it has a community space and a fire place namely, a space in which students will relaxing together by eating what they will pick up or simply making friends.
Some girls had the idea to create a small place to plant lavender and make the garden more colorful.
The building of the community garden means social inclusion by having fun, cooking potatoes and paprika and enjoying the beauty of the spring.
And at the end of the day CTRIA team is very happy to be involved in this project!