Spreading that Green Love

Showing off their beautiful Butterfly Garden, members of EEE Club: Aliza, Okkar, Jia Yi, Wei Jing and Cartens

Caring for greenery is a powerful tool that can change a person's life, such as turning a schoolboy who hated the sun into a gardening enthusiast and in the process helped his school win a Community in Bloom award.

It all starts somewhere

Lakeside Primary School's Eco-Enviro-Engineers (EEE) Club has been actively championing the environmental cause since it was formed in 2004. Its aim is to enhance environmental awareness among students as well as the neighbouring community.

Taking learning outside of the classroom, the club has attracted numerous students who wish to cultivate an interest in Science.

One of these students is 11-year-old Jia Yi, who joined the club to improve his Science grades. But he is now an enthusiastic ambassador for the club who shares his experience and knowledge gained from club activities. Plus, he now gets an 'A' in Science.

When asked if he had any interest in gardening before joining the EEE Club, Jia Yi responded, "No, because I have to do it under the sun".

The teachers-in-charge of the club also attested to this, saying he was not keen on gardening when he first started.

Lakeside Primary School's garden received an Community in Bloom Platinum award in July 2012.

Jia Yi's interest in gardening was sparked after learning landscaping from Uncle Tony, a community volunteer who tends to the gardens, who showed the students different ways of growing plants such as string gardens, terrariums, etc.

Jia Yi's enthusiasm in his club activities has rubbed off on his good friends - Okkar, Cartens and Wei Jing - who decided to join the club, too.

Little gardening experts cum environment ambassadors

Jia Yi and his friends, all of whom did not have prior gardening knowledge aside from helping their parents water plants, are now little gardening experts who are more than happy to share with you tips on propagation and the outreach programmes they are involved in.

The Butterfly Garden is one of three gardens in Lakeside Primary School and is where students learn about butterflies and the host and nectar plants they feed on.

Through activities held in the school gardens - the butterfly garden, herb garden and eco-garden - the children have learnt about the host plants and nectar plants that attract different species of butterflies. As part of their club activities, they help to propagate and care for these plants.

In addition to gardening, EEE Club members are also exposed to other environmental causes such as waste minimisation, energy efficiency and nature conservation. Club activities also cater to students with different areas of interests, such as those who do not fancy gardening may contribute by using their artistic talen to create decorative ornaments for the various gardens.

With the help of Uncle Tony, the students learnt how to incorporate recycling into their daily lives and in their gardens. Growing plants out of old shoes and broken pots, the students learn new and creative methods of gardening plants. Some of the terrariums made during CCA are given to the elderly who live in the neighbourhood.

The contributions from the EEE Club has brought Lakeside Primary School a Community in Bloom Platinum award (Educational Institution) given out in June 2012. The school also received a Special Award for Environment and Biodiversity. The EEE Club members also gave a presentation to the public at the Singapore Garden Festival in July this year.

When asked what happens when they leave school, Jia Yi and his friends all said they would continue their green efforts and hope it would inspire others to take a similar interest in gardening and caring for the environment.

Contributing in other ways: Jia Yi uses his artistic talents to help decorate the Butterfly Garden - he drew this design freehand.

By Charmaine Wong

Gardening in Your School

If you enjoy gardening and would like to start a garden in your school, visit the Community in Bloom site for information on getting started.

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