Urban gardening activities offer multiple benefits – from boosting local economies and improving the quality of the environment in urban neighborhoods, to engaging, connecting and empowering the most vulnerable groups of people and disfavored youth.
The European initiative “URBAN – Engaging Youth with Urban Gardening Activities,” implemented by six European civil society organizations from Greece, Portugal, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania and Northern Macedonia, is focusing on the social dimension of urban gardening. It aims to encourage active participation and education of the local community members – including disfavored and threatened with exclusion young people – through setting up and maintaining urban gardens.
As part of the program, a five-day seminar was held in Gottingen, Germany, on 11-15 October 2021, aiming to train the trainers on how to approach and guide young people interested to be educated in the field of agricultural activities in urban areas. Two trainers from each country participating in the project took part in the seminar.
The aim of the seminar was to educate and familiarize the trainers with more creative methods and teaching styles – such as role-playing, field polls, audiovisual presentation in the classroom, etc. – and how these practices can enhance the learning process and make related activities more interesting and fun.
Participants discussed topics such as types of urban gardens, seed cultivation and soil suitability, as well as the benefits and impacts of urban gardening on the climate and society. The seminar’s themes were based on the manual “ECO-URBAN Gardening,” which is a handy guide to urban gardens’ creation, covering both technical issues and approaches to urban gardening methodologies.
It should also be noted that the URBAN consortium has already created the educational material for the development of urban gardening courses for young people who want to learn more, be educated, networked and participate in urban farming activities. The educational material is available on the e-learning Platform.