A recent study visit organized as part of the GreenEdu project in Sor-Trondelag, Norway, brought together participants from Iceland, Slovakia and Norway to enhance nature-based education and earth competences. The informative and engaging visit was packed with various programs, field visits, and presentations, providing valuable insights into sustainability and integration of refugees.
The study visit was organized by Dal Pro Utvikling, a partner organization located on the island of Hitra and attended by representatives of project partners from the Public Library of Reykjanesbær in Iceland and Slovak Eco Quality in Slovakia. Participants had the opportunity of exploring the Helgebostad Horticulture Farm, which boasts an impressive collection of over a hundred different plant varieties. Spanning approximately 1.1 acres, the farm includes an herb garden, market garden, and a homebuilt growing tunnel, all surrounding the main house.
One of the highlights of the visit was witnessing how Dal Pro integrates refugees from Ukraine and other countries into their operations. Participants observed how the organization educates refugees the art of cultivating small gardens and identifying edible plants in nature. This inclusive approach not only empowers refugees with practical skills but also fosters a sense of community and connection to the natural environment.
During the day, participants enjoyed a delectable lunch prepared using ingredients sourced directly from the kitchen garden. The salad, composed of over 20 different ingredients, showcased the farm’s commitment to sustainably and locally-sourced produce.
Another significant part of the study visit took place at the Dal Pro Education Center for Refugees. Together with the refugees and their educators, participants worked on garden preparation and planting, gaining firsthand experience and collecting valuable insights for the upcoming Educational Program developed under the GreenEdu project. This collaborative effort exemplified the project’s dedication to know-how exchange and capacity building.
The islands of Hitra and Froya, known for their vibrant food production industry, also played a vital role in the study visit. Participants had the opportunity to explore the local food ecosystem, visiting various small-scale and large-scale producers. These visits were particularly relevant as the producers were preparing for an upcoming food festival. Additionally, participants delved into the history of seafood and the salmon industry at the local museum before embarking on a boat trip to a salmon farm, providing a comprehensive understanding of the region’s rich agricultural heritage.
Reflecting on the intense and productive study visit, participants expressed their enthusiasm for incorporating their newfound knowledge and experiences into their own Educational Program that is developed in GreenEdu project. The visit to Norway served as a catalyst for innovative and sustainable practices, inspiring the participants to make a positive impact on nature-based education and agriculture in their respective communities.
The participants expressed their sincere gratitude to Dal Pro for the opportunity and impeccable organization throughout the study visit. The partnership and collaboration fostered during this visit are expected to have a lasting impact on the Green Edu project and contribute to the advancement of sustainable education and agricultural practices worldwide.
As the participants return home, they carry with them a wealth of knowledge, new perspectives, and a renewed commitment to building a greener and more inclusive future through education and sustainability.
This blog was first published at: https://naturebasededu.wordpress.com/2023/06/09/study-visit-exploring-nature-based-learning-and-good-practices-in-norway/?fbclid=IwAR2Ivb7h5SJbis0ZlB4ANAPWBeJkQcGzzMWzZv4P1gvGi-DXm7ehxFgYevk