Greetings from Nepenmäki primary school !
Meadow plants, flowers and their inhabitants under a study
In this blog we will follow Nepenmäki primary school 4th graders, who have started their meadow plant and flowers studyproject. The meadows are important but under a great threat to be disappeared with a variety of plants, flowers and insects. They need to be protected. The concern let students to bring up the issue and raise awareness towards the conservation. The project will be done together with ENO Environment Online.
The start: Project started 27 Aug by making an excursion to the meadows nearby school. The students used tablets from school to photograph different species of plants and flowers. Also insects and other inhabitants were captured. The next thing is to identify the species.
15 Sep 2021 Planting flowers
With Nepenmäki primary school students we had this year an alternative activity for the ENO Tree planting Day. Usually the primary school classes have planted trees but this year there was some challenges -above all taking into the notice the lack of suitable places near school. Also some variation to the activities was welcomed. That is why the 1st and the 4th graders decided to plant flowers! We planted approximately 220 onion flowers; 150 tulips in different colours and 70 crocuses. The flower bulbs were planted in the school yard in two locations – in front of the bibliotheque and next to the road near the parking space so that as many people as possible can be delighted by those flowers in spring.The flowers start appearing at the altitude of Finland around april and may and the flowers should be in all theirs glory no later than the beginning of June.
Here you can see some pictures of flower planting.
19.4.2022 Waiting the snow to melt
Nepenmäki school and ENO Environment Online will start to take care of the meadow area nearby the school. The land area is still under snow, but since the days are getting warmer the snow melts quite fast.
For this we have made a partnership agreement with the city of Joensuu’s garden services about taking care of one specific area nearby the school as a school initiative. The agreement will be written between ENO Schoolnet Association and Joensuu city’s garden services. It will include the following tasks:
• Establish a flower meadow
• mowing / mowing lawns
• clearing small trees and other undergrowth
• Garbage is collected
26.4.2022 The spring is arriving!
One week can make a change in the finnish spring! Snow is disappearing and the onion flowers we planted in autumn are rising up from the ground. What might be the date when the flowers are appearing?
29.4.2022 City gardeners visit to the class
Joensuu city’s gardener Mr. Ari Tolvanen visited the class and told about the importance of meadows and how to set up the meadow. It is relatively easy, but needs attention and some basic preparations before it will eventually flourish. After the theoretical part and discussion we went to check the meadow place we are about to establish and take care of.
These were the main issues he pointed:
- the land must be impoverished. It can be done by raking.
- The land is a sunny slope:
- upper side of the land ->drought tolerant plants
- down part are moist -> put moist-like plants
- perennial plants are recommended
- Don’t expect instant results -> The results are best seen after a couple of years
6.5.2022 Flowerbombs! Getting started.
A great way to get the land flourish is to create flowerbombs. For this we organised a flowerbomb workshop where we decided also to invite the whole ENO network with us: LET’S GO OUT FLOWERBOMBING -campaign was created for the upcoming Outdoor Classroom Day.
What a great way to spend a day out! For this an ENO Environment Onlines environmental educator came with the class to help and guide through the process. Seedbombs as a technique is an ancient Japanese practice called Tsuchi Dango, meaning ‘Earth Dumpling’. They are made from earth and are not explosive. They were reintroduced in 1938 by the Japanese microbiologist/ farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913–2008), author of The One Straw Revolution.
We made flowerbombs in a relatively easy way. For the clay we used natural clay from the ground or from the bottom of the lake. We bought only compost and seed ready. The flower seeds were local species and the seeds were also taken from local plants. The seeds were ordered from the enterprise called Suomen niittysiemen Oy.
Upper row of images: Compost, natural clay, water and egg cell makes a great moldable mass. The best is if you can keep the bombs small and a little bit elastic. That is how it won’t break when throwing.
Below: Students in the flowerbomb workshop. A lots of bombs were created the put to dry for a weeks. The bombing day will the the friday 13 May.
13.5 TIime for flowerbombing!
Flowerbombs had been drying for one week so now it was a perfect time to go out for do the bombing! Before bombing the students needed to impowerish the ground in able to better establish the meadow. They did it with the rakes and shovels. Some flowerbombs had already started to sprout within one week!
International exchange with Flowerbomb event
School OŠ “Knez Sima Marković” Veliki Borak from Serbia made lovely videos which we all watched:
The video of the actual flowerbombing event you can watch from the Facebook:
20.5.2022 A bicycle trip to the Noljakka nature reserve and Koivuvaara meadow
At the end of the project the class made a bicycle excursion to the Noljakka nature trail which is situated at the Noljakka nature reserve. The trail is 2,5km long so it is perfect for daily visits.The nature reserve is a delta that has formed as a result of a water canal eruption a long time ago. Nowadays the area is significant for its variety of bird species. There is also a bird tower that the class visited. During this trip the class also visited the Koivuvaara (Birch hill) meadow that has been established by volunteer residents and nature conservation association of Joensuu. As the spring was very late this year they could not see much flowers or plants but they did recognise “the spring grass” (kevättaskuruoho) and “the little handkerchief” (pikkukäenrieska) plants. During the summer this meadow is very beautiful with many flower and plant species and because of that it also attracts a variety of butterfly species. There are also some sheeps grazing at the meadow during summertime.
27.5.2022 Sad end note
No onion flowers! :(((((((((((
By a huge mistake of the city’s garden department the onion flower sprouts had been cut off by mowing the lawn! What an irresponsible act! More than 200 onion flowers planted in vain. Teacher Henna Kinnunen said some of the tulip flowers were almost in a flowering stage and that they had in mind to go to watch and admire them. We sent a notification to the garden department and they regretted the bad information flow from the planners to the green area managers. They promised this will be taken into account better in the upcoming projects.