From 15th to 17th May 2015 we met for the 4th LEARACT meeting in Rotterdam.
We started in the ‘Voedseltuin’. A short story about Rotterdam as a very divers harbour city was presented. Divers in people, divers in neighbourhoods and divers in gardens!
There are more than a hundred projects around gardens in Rotterdam.
On this Friday we visited 3 locaties in the West of Rotterdam.
The first city farm ‘Uit je Eigen Stad’ is a special place near a harbour, where agroculture and a commercial restaurant are situated.
On the ‘Dakpark’ a park, with small gardens and sheep, was developed on the roof of a shopping centre. A volunteer walked with us through the park.
On the ‘Voedseltuin’ food is produced for the food bank (charity) by unemployed people. In the evening friends and colleagues from Rotterdam were invited to have dinner with us here.
On Saturday morning we visited different gardens in the Eastern part of Rotterdam by bike. We started in the rain on Wijktuin De Esch. Here the value of this garden for the neighbourhood was explained.
We made a shirt visit to the Shi take farm Trompenburg.
On Education Garden ‘Lieven de Keystraat’ we worked on the method ‘Mindmapping’. In different groups people worked on several subjects: funding, find and keep volunteers, cooperate with other organisations.
During the lunch Ms. Antja Jongejan from the city department of Nature and Environmental Education told us about the children farms, educational gardens and sustainable projects in Rotterdam.
On the way we made a short visit to natural playground Ravottuh, with is located next to the Educational Garden Lieven de Key. At ‘Coolzaad Oudedijk’ square food gardens on a playground were showed.
The Hidden Garden is a garden situated between an elderly home and a school. Seniors work on rehabilitation, while children work in the garden as a part of their education.
On sunday morning we met on the ‘Locomotieftuin’ in the South of the city. Here we were welcomed by some residents.
By tram we went to educational garden ‘De Enk’. After a short walk around the garden we spoke about the end publication that will be made by the 4 countries.
After this official part we made pizza’s in the stone oven. The weekend was closed with an evaluation, a group picture and warm goodbyes.
Stefan van der Worm
Abela Foundation Rotterdam