The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has handed over six mini-botanical Gardens to the Public Secondary Schools that emerged as 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. She added that the 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.
In her words: “We are contributing in our small way with this resource to enable school children to 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. Though the Mini-Botanical Garden might look small now we hope it will be nurtured and cared for to blossom that future generations of students will meet someday”, she said. Also speaking, the Director-General of the 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, Mrs. Folake Salawu, noted that the initiative will enlighten the students and make them aware of the role they can play to protect the environment, stressing that school children need to be trained on how to nurture the botanical garden for the sustainability of the project.
Mrs. Omobolanle Olushola Alamu, the Principal of Government Senior College, Agege, expressed gratitude to LASPARK for the laudable project, urging the Agency to set up more Gardens across schools in the State. She said the botanical garden will serve as instructional material to the teachers, adding that the school will put in place all necessary measures to ensure proper maintenance of the Garden.
The organisation also promised to establish a Mini-Botanical Garden as a reward for each of the six schools that came out victorious.
In fulfillment of this promise, LASPARK, in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and Viathan Engineering Ltd, has created the botanical gardens which have been handed over to the six beneficiary schools through their respective districts.
The winning schools are 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 are segmented into four sections namely, Edible, Ornamental, Shrubs and Medicine.