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November 15, 2013

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Home » Metro » Education

Schools get own botanic gardens

A MINI botanic garden with nearly 250 kinds of plants, including species that live in rainforests and deserts, has opened to children at a local primary school.

The trial comes after gardening experts appealed for children to be given more exposure to nature at school.

Nine city kindergartens and primary schools are building mini botanic gardens.

Taking up around 70 square meters, the garden at Kangning Technology Experimental Primary School, gathers together many plants that children rarely see in Shanghai. These include a banyan tree, agave potatorum, agave americana and gold lace cactus.

“Local children have very little contact with diversified plants inside school because the plants are too similar, mostly evergreen trees like cypress and pine trees,” said Wu Zhixing, a 70-year-old gardening expert who initiated the scheme.

Wu, a retired staffer with the Shanghai Botanical Garden, is deputy director of the science and education committee of Shanghai Society of Landscape Architecture, and dedicated to getting children interested in plants.

“Children can observe and grow plants in the mini botanic garden — more fun than looking at boring pictures in class,” Wu said.

Creating a mini botanic garden costs around 40,000 yuan (US$6,564) and is paid for by the school.



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