Botanical classroom Conservation Environmental education

This article was first published in Espores on the
20 Oct 2022

Art and nature in the CEIP La Pea for the Cartagena rockrose

Portada Jara

At the beginning of 2020, the Jardí Botànic created the project "Bases for the conservation of the Cartagena rockrose (Cistus heterophyllus subsp. carthaginensis), a critically endangered species" with the aim of recovering one of the most endangered species in our country. As with all research projects, there is a part of the project that promotes environmental education, dissemination and citizen participation, which is why last spring the Jardí carried out a didactic intervention in the CEIP La Pea, in Vilamarxant, to make children aware of this situation and make them participate in it.

“The most educational part of the project tries to permeate scientific knowledge so that the public can understand the general state of plant biodiversity that is endangered, and make it specific to a particular species,” said Olga Mayoral, deputy director of the Jardí Botànic. The botanist explained that this activity has also served to teach issues related to sustainability and environmental conservation, but “personalising it in a plant that is also beautiful, which is not always the case”.

The protagonists of the educational intervention were the pupils in the fifth and sixth years of primary education at the La Pea public school together with their teachers. It consisted of a multidisciplinary process in different sessions, some led by members of the Jardí and others by the teachers themselves, but always together, in a cooperative way.

Primary 5th grade drawings

Primary 6th grade drawings

The first session served to find out the pupils’ previous ideas and complement their knowledge. The project that the Jardí Botànic is carrying out to conserve the species was also explained to them and they were asked how they thought they could also help, as the whole sequence ended with the planting of the plant itself in the field.

“Normally, when an educational centre is involved in planting, it is only done from a didactic point of view and the great opportunity to work on many more things along the way is being lost, so what this proposal tried to do was to give more consistency to the mere planting of an endangered species,” said the deputy director. The planting took place in La Pea, the area that gives its name to the school.

In the second session, two different proposals were made together with the plastic arts teachers: on the one hand, drawings of the rockrose in flower, and on the other, the representation of a comic strip that showed from the moment when the Jardí discovered this endangered species to when the pupils collaborated with them to try to recover it.

This coming 2nd December, the children from the same school who were in the fifth year and who are now in the sixth year will visit the Jardí Botànic to carry out a new activity, which will undoubtedly be a good opportunity to discover everything they learned and what they still remember about the Cartagena Rockrose.

Student of Journalism at the University of València, attempted writer and lover of stories.
Curious by nature, perfectionist and sentimental. If I could be a tree, I would be an olive tree. I don't know how to be brief and I can't conceive life without chocolate, hugs and books. I collect memories because I am afraid of the ephemeral and I like stories where women save themselves.
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