The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has handed over six Mini-Botanical Gardens to the Public Secondary Schools that emerged winners at the Public School Craft Art Competition organised during the year 2021 Lagos Tree Planting Day.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Botanical Gardens at Government Senior College Agege, the General Manager of LASPARK, Mrs Adetoun Popoola, said the gardens are meant to serve as learning resources that will expose students to plant biodiversity, help them know more about a range of horticultural practices like propagation, planting and cultivation techniques, adding that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has set a target to make environmental education a core curriculum component in all countries by 2025.
“We are contributing in our small way with this resource to enable school children acquire first-hand knowledge, skills, values and initiatives to become active participants in the protection of the environment.
“The creation of the gardens will also complement activities of the Environmental Bees Club initiative anchored by our parent body, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.
“It is our hope that the gardens will fulfill the desired purpose by nurturing a young, green-fingered generation,” she said.
“Though the Mini-Botanical Garden might look small now, but we hope it will be natured and cared for to blossom that future generations of students will meet here someday,” she emphasised.
Also speaking, the Director General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu Kano, said the partnership with LASPARK is in line with the mandate of the foundation which is to conserve the environment by creating green spaces.
The Director General, who was represented by the Coordinator, Green Recovery Nigerian Programme, Ms Folake Salawu, noted that the initiative would enlighten the students and make them aware of the role they can play to protect the environment.
He stressed that the school children needed to be trained on how to nurture the botanical garden for the sustainability of the project.
Mrs Alamu Omobolanle Olushola, the Principal of Government Senior College, Agege, expressed gratitude to LASPARK for the laudable project, urging the Agency to set up more of the gardens across schools in the state.
She said the botanical garden would serve as instructional material to the teachers, saying the school would put in place all necessary measures to ensure proper maintenance of the garden.
The Agency had announced during the build up to the year 2021 Tree Planting Day celebration that, as part of activities to commemorate the day, School Craft Competition would be organised for public schools. The organisation also promised to establish a Mini-Botanical Garden as reward to each of the six schools that came out victorious.
In fulfilment of this promise, the Agency in partnership with the NCF and Viathan Engineering Ltd, created the botanical gardens which has been handed over to the six beneficiary schools through their respective districts.
The winning schools include: Sonmori Comprehensive Secondary School, Ifako Ijaiye; Sanngo Senior Secondary School, Agege; Government Senior College, Agege;
Government Junior Model College, Ikorodu; Abesan Senior High School, Abesan; and Kosofe Senior College, Ketu.
The gardens consist of over 80 varieties of trees and segmented into four sections namely Edible, Ornamental, Shrubs and Medicine.