Making outdoor play happen: Sara Jones
Sara is a mum, allotment gardener and runs Eco-Kids which provides creative classes for kids on how to look after the environment. Even their website is going to be run on 100% renewable energy soon. Here Sara describes some inspirational work she has done in her local allotments with kids.
Eco-Kids Allotment Garden
When I first arrived at my new allotment plot in May last year it was over grown 5 ft in Bramble and weed. I assured the committee that I would sort it out in no time. It was a leap of faith and the task ahead was going to be a test to say the least… but a mission is a mission… There were a few raised eyebrows when I announced I wanted my plot to be an area where children could play and grow.
I run an Eco-Kids after school Club (the session is for an hour). The children are fantastic and enjoy the whole experience of growing their own food in spaces within the school grounds normally raised beds old dust bins, or old boxes!
I wanted to extend this to a non profit project to give all children access to fun and productive outdoor play in the form of an Eco-Kids allotment garden.
Gardening and growing food connects children with where their food comes from, gives them responsibility, self esteem and a sense of achievement. They may work on just one or two metres square – or have a huge area for growing. The activities may also be part of the school curriculum.
For some allotment-holders children spell nuisance but I would like to change that view and I think I may have won them over. Not only have the committee agreed to the project but several fellow Allotment owners have helped with all kinds of things from advice on safety to the levelling of a huge area for our greenhouse. What a community spirit!
We are aiming to invite our first guests along in late spring. We can’t wait to create pretty pathways make scarecrows plant rainbow beds pizza beds make mud pies plant seeds and watch it all take form over the years to come.
Follow our progress http://www.facebook.com/EcoKidsClasses
Eco Kids provide creative classes for children in Gardening, Cooking with seasonal produce and recycled Arts and Crafts across the UK. Check them out at http://www.eco-kids.org.uk and follow Sara on Twitter at @_EcoKids
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