Ecological education projects with children / urban jungle founders

The urban jungle founders project is part of our Greencademy program. Urban jungle founders act at the local level of our association. Our idea is to build a local network of organizations and institutions in Erfurt and Thuringia to promote and actively create ecological educational opportunities. We additionally want to activate and professionalize young people as multipliers and founders of initiatives in order to create practical programs to implement a more sustainable life in the overall social context. Time and space should be created to discuss important challenges and find practical solutions that replace existing concepts of today’s lifestyle with sustainable and holistic methods. To this end, we would like to give young people in particular the tools they need to develop their ideas into concepts and show them how they can become part of this process of change themselves. We want to enable them to work together effectively and dynamically across borders, to exchange knowledge and experience more quickly and to use and help to build up our network of actors for alternative and sustainable lifestyles.

Upgrading the IGS school biotope
In November 2021 a project with students from the IGS school and students from the University of Erfurt took place as part of the urban jungle founders project.
From November 17th to 19th we had three productive project days in a biotope on Wendenstrasse. Together with students, we supported young people to implement their ideas in the biotope. Together we thought about how we can make the biotope a place where the young people like to stay and which they can use to grow vegetables and herbs. Together we discovered a variety of material on site that we could use for our projects. For example, old broken concrete slabs from which we built a herb spiral.
The raised beds that were that we had built in Summer were paved. At some distance a new bed was created and planted. A new raised bed was filled with soil and plants were plant there. On the last day we designed our finished projects with self-made natural paint. Not to be forgotten is our logistics team, which prepared warm drinks and lunch for us in the open air during the workshop.


Creating green zones in the school yard Albert-Schmeitzer Gymnasium
As part of the urban jungle founders project, we set up green zones together with pupils and University students in the schoolyard of the Albert-Schweitzer Gymnasium. We selected resistant plants that can withstand some foot. Among other things, we planted yellow bedstraw, yarrow and maiden pink. In the next year we want to develop these areas into green islands together with the students.

Ecological holiday camp STZ Herrenberg
In cooperation with the Herrenberg district center (STZ) in Erfurt we organized an ecological holiday camp lasting several days in autumn 2021. With children between the ages of seven and 14 and students of the University of Erfurt, we not only experienced lots of outdoor adventures, but also made animal masks and colored fabric with natural colors and constructed pictures on recycled wooden panels with nails and wool.

The German Foundation for Commitment and Volunteering supported our urban jungle founders project with its ZukunftsMUT program.

As part of our urban jungle founders project, we have been run a working group at the IGS school since October 2021. Together with students of the university Erfurt we want to show the young people the diversity of nature around them, so that they could understand, respect and learn from it. We also want to give them a basic knowledge of herb and vegetable cultivation. The pupils also have space to explore and try different sustainable things out. For example the wide range of natural and recycled materials an how to used them.