Green Gown Awards 2015 Student Engagement - Edinburgh College - Winner

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | Scotland | Student Engagement | behaviour change | Edinburgh College | gardens | orchards

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Edinburgh Community Gardens and Orchards

Edinburgh College has built up two thriving community gardens at opposite ends of the city of Edinburgh, and is also in the process of developing four community orchards. 

Starting in 2012 as part of a student-led project, the community gardens have developed into an important college and community resource. We have more than 250 participants from a diverse range of groups including students, staff and local community members and groups. 

The gardens are an important part of our curricular delivery and are used by a wide range of student groups. For many of these users the gardens represent much more than a space to grow food. They are a space to learn about healthy living, gain new skills and build self-confidence and self-esteem as well as increasing employability, promoting sustainable behaviours and helping make new friends.  

Top 3 learnings

1. Our Community Garden project enables a holistic approach to a number of topics such as sustainability, environment and well-being. Our users experience behavioural changes following informal conversations with other users and our Community Garden coordinator and have time to self-reflect on their own practice

2. Outdoor projects working toward increasing biodiversity enable a better understanding of the environment and encourage inclusiveness and acceptance of ourselves and others

3 Our Community Gardens and Orchards are open to the wider community. The broader engagement enriches the project and enables us as a College to take part in Edinburgh-wide action to encourage biodiversity and sustainable practices.

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