From 13th to 16th March 2023, the Erasmus+ Project Growing Green Communities (GGC) training took place in Bordeaux, France. Project partners from Finland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and France met with 8 young students to learn from each other best practices in developing green communities, including urban gardens. Project participants of different ages, nationalities, cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds had 4 intensive days of activities inside and outside the classroom. Our project partner and city host, Salu Terre, took the training participants to visit different projects based on community development, including the first community garden in France. Participants visited interesting green places such ENSAP. School of the Gardens, Jardins de Beaudesert at Mérignac ,the Pedagogical Farm of Les Aubiers, the Alotment Gardens of Les Aubiers and the Ecological Park of Domaine de la Burthe Ardins de Beaudesert Mérignac.
The GGC project coordinator Giselle Mesiara mentioned in her GGC training reflection that visiting different sustainability-related projects gives training participants the opportunity to better understand not only what a community garden is and its benefits, but also the challenges and difficulties behind it. “When we see a beautiful community garden, we don’t know all the challenges it had to face to finally flourish in every way”.
The training in Bordeaux introduced the realities of a community development activity, including unsuccessful community gardens, the difficulties of obtaining land and committed volunteers, and the hard work of a door-to-door community approach. GGC participants had a realistic experience of a community development process, which laid the foundation for the development of the Growing Green Community framework.
In addition to external activities, the collaborative methodology of “learning from, with and about” was implemented. Where each project partner had the opportunity to present their professional expertise and innovative ways of collaborating to achieve the goals of the GGC. The active participation of young people in the process of mapping the needs of the GGC will be analyzed in the next phase of the project.
The knowledge generated during the GGC training activities in Bordeaux was in connection with the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 11.7 (Provide Access to Safe and Inclusive Green and Public Spaces), 12.3 (Halve Global Capita Food Waste), 13 (Climate Action) and 17.16 (Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development).
The NGO Crossing Borders, which is a major implementer of project activities that meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations in Denmark and globally, is leading the Erasmus+ project Growing Green Communities.
Blog author: Mesiara, Giselle