Learning about plants and animals in the forest kindergarten

Prospekt News


Photo 1. Children from the Drenova Child Care Centre learn about the different
textures of plant leaves and about the many different little creatures
that live on them. (Photo by S. Katana)

LEARNING ABOUT PLANTS AND ANIMALS IN THE FOREST KINDERGARTEN

Drenova is a part of Rijeka that is gradually transforming
into the town’s first “green neighbourhood”. The Magical Forest
Project involves cleaning and fixing up the area surrounding Lokvica at
Drenova and creating a space to teach children about the local ecosystem.
We plan to label the plant species (Cornelian cherry, hawthorn, acacia,
dog-rose, blackberry, wild asparagus, lemon balm…) found in the Forest
Garden, where children will play and learn. We also expect the Amazing
Trails Project to be completed shortly in collaboration with the Drenova
Child Care Centre and to see the successful delivery of the Forest Kindergarten
Pilot Project.

During the month of May, we finally managed to do some
“fieldwork” with the Drenova Child Care Centre. In early May,
an outdoors workshop was organized, together with the Zone 00 Association,
for some 50 children, aged 3 – 6, from the Centre. The aim of the workshop
was to encourage the children to investigate (using all five of their
senses – Photo 1) the plant and animal life around Lokvica in the forest
kindergarten.

At the workshop, we learned what is the most important
bush/tree in Drenova, how the month of May (svibanj in Croatian) got its
name (Photo 2), how to distinguish the common dogwood from the Cornelian
cherry, why some insects are green (while ladybugs have bright colours),
what aphids are and how they look, what butterfly caterpillars eat, what
asparagus and butcher’s boon look like, why wild roses and blackberry
bushes have thorns, and many other interesting and intriguing things about
nature.

Sonja Katana (Zone 00 Association) and Marko Randić (PI
Priroda)


Photo 2. Svibanj – the Croatian name for the month of May – got its name
from the flowers of the common dogwood, called svib in Croatian. (Photo
by M. Randić)