Chasing Elvas Municipal Garden’s fascinating trees

InnovPlantProtect (InPP) is organizing a paper chase game (peddy-paper, in Portuguese) with D. Sancho II Secondary School for 10th graders to explore, identify and marvel at Elvas Municipal Garden’s diverse trees and their differentiating characteristics, as a celebration of Fascination of Plants Day.

This event, with which the Municipality of Elvas associates itself, will take place in the morning of May 18, 2021 – Fascination of Plants Day. The Municipal Garden is the biggest green space in this small city of the Alentejo region where InPP is based. It holds specimens of Judas trees, lime trees, olive trees, cedars, orange trees, horse chestnut trees, mulberry trees, Casuarina, ash trees and carob trees, among many others, which are yet to be catalogued and mapped.

Olaia no Jardim Municipal de Elvas
In Elvas Municipal Garden there are Judas trees, lime trees, olive trees, cedars, orange trees, horse chestnut trees… among many, many others.

The activity will start at 8:30 AM and will be divided into 3 (three) 90-minutes time slots, for three different 10th grade classes from D. Sancho II School: 8:30 – 10 AM / 10 – 11:30 AM / 11:30 AM – 1 PM. InPP researchers and teachers from the school will be on site to assist the participants. A different class, from the audiovisuals area, shall also participate, reporting on the event. At a later date, a similar activity shall be proposed to the class from the professional technical course in mixed farming.

The theme of Biodiversity is taught in the 10th grade in Portugal. As a result of this activity, InPP and D. Sancho II Secondary School will continue collaborating to develop a physical signing system for the trees, with respective common names, scientific names and a QR code.

The QR code, once read by a visitor’s smartphone, will give access to a complete data base about the trees of the Municipal Garden, including their identification, description, curiosities, history and local mythology. This data base/ digital brochure is to be built by InPP researchers and the school’s students and teachers, and made available to the Municipality and all its secondary schools, in a project that should last until 2022.

Fascination of Plants Day is promoted internationally by the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) with the aim of awakening enthusiasm and calling attention to the importance of plant science in different areas, from agriculture and sustainable food production, to forestry and the production of other kinds of goods, as well as bem culture and leisure.

In Portugal, the initiative is coordinated by ITQB NOVA and Sociedade Portuguesa de Biologia das Plantas: the goal is that national institutions and companies join hundreds of organizations worldwide, from more than 40 countries, to celebrate the wonderful world of plants. Portugal is considered a success story and is traditionally one of the countires with more organizations joining the celebrations.

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