Nature schools in the heart of Zurich
16th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2022
1. January 2022
Forest wildlife and climate – how does change become visible?
3. March 2022

Nature schools in the heart of Zurich

Author: The nature schools from Grün Stadt Zürich

T he city of Zurich offers nature education classes for students of the public school system. Courses for students are held in five different locations, called "nature schools". The department which runs the nature schools is called "Grün Stadt Zürich". They are not only responsible for nature education but for the management of all the green spaces, parks and urban trees as well.

The nature schools from Grün Stadt Zürich (Office of parks and open spaces) have been running nature education interventions for different age groups and habitats such as forest, farms, commons and the city center for over 30 years. The courses make it possible for school classes to experience the diverse natural world in and around Zurich with an expert.

The range of possibilities for Zurich's schools is continuously being extended and updated. Climate change is an important topic in several of our nature education courses, although it is very demanding and complex to cover in an age-appropriate way. For example, we offer two courses for students aged between 10 and 12, which take place in the forest of Hönggerberg, where there is a “forest laboratory” in which various experiments are conducted. The courses have specific topics such as climate change and sustainability and these are good surroundings to discuss such topics. A selection of our courses concerning climate change will be presented at the 16th European Forest Pedagogics Congress.

We think that courses in agricultural settings and school gardens also have great potential to include climate change as well as sustainability. This is one of our next projects.

For detailed course listings:

In addition, educational content is provided for interested adults. For example, a current exhibition investigates the role of trees in city climate. Video zur Ausstellung Bäume in der Stadt – YouTube (Swiss German)

The nature school program strives to be an example in sustainable energy utilization. In all renovation efforts, renewable energy sources, such as solar and geothermal energy are implemented.

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