Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Lotusland Fourth-Grade Outreach and Education Program

 As part of its work to preserve the historic estate of Madame Ganna Walska, Lotusland cares for a unique array of plants and elaborate gardens. The organization seeks to recognize the importance of plants in the daily lives of humans and nonhumans alike. Keeping education as a central focus, Lotusland invites all fourth-grade classes in southern Santa Barbara County, California, to participate in an environmental outreach program that ties directly into life science lessons taught as part of the public school curriculum.

The educators at Lotusland work closely with each school to design an educational program that will meet the expectations of teachers and engage students. Schools incur no cost by participating in the program, which includes classroom presentations on basic concepts of botany followed by tours of Lotusland. The latter half of the program emphasizes hands-on learning experiences that reinforce the lessons taught in the classroom. As students leave Lotusland, each receives a succulent plant and instructions on how to care.