Tooro botanical garden has tour guides trained to conduct and raise scholars’ awareness on conservation issues and environmental sustainability. Tours and seminars are offered to all schools in order to strengthen environmental consciousness among the youth. Partnerships between TBG and other organizations like UNITE have supported many schools to visit the gardens and learn about nature. While in gardens, activities done include Hug a tree, transpiration experiments, waste management, tree seedlings counting and vegetation identification.
During the seminars the students are engaged in the following activities
i. Hug a tree
The students are paired into groups and one of them is blind folded then moved within 10 metres from the start location as he or she is guided by one person in order to avoid obstacles like ditches, rocks along their path.
The blind folded person is given five minutes to smell, touch and hug a tree as other student take note of the observation then he is taken to start point. The student takes others to the place according to the senses.
- This is aimed at training the young ones environment sensitivity in terms of texture, smell slope and size of the tree.
ii. Transpiration experiment
The students are paired into groups named according to names of trees where the experiment is to be carried out. They are provided with two transparent polythene bags and tape. Half of the group looks for a broad leaf and others choose a narrow one in the shade and another in places where sunshine can reach. Then after the walk students are brought back to draw conclusions.
iii. Waste management activity
The students are tested to see whether they know non-biodegradable and degradable wastes while in the gardens. They are then told advantages and disadvantages of both types in relation to soil conservation in the gardens and in their homes. This is through explaining compost manure, effects of plastics/polythene on agriculture.
iv. Tree seedlings counting
While in the nursery bed pupils are divided up into groups of ten and each group is assigned a different tree species counting. This activity is aimed to test the pupils whether they can identify and count one type of tree.
v. Vegetation types identification
TBG has got some zones that are similar to the main vegetation types in western Uganda. During the walk they are told to identify the vegetation types using action but not words.
|Action to make for activity|
|Savannah grass land
|Wave fingers like grasses
|Put hands together high above the head like a peak.|
|Raise arms high in air like tall trees|
|Squat down and rock back and forth like you are floating|