Over the past month Ian, Cathy and I have been working up our proposal for the Reimagining Museums for Climate Action competition run by the Glasgow Science Centre. Inspired by the competition’s ethos for radically rethinking the museum in relation to climate justice and green futures, we explored ideas around young people and climate action. Our proposal – “The Green Technician Collective” – centres on the empowerment of young people through the development of a living museum and we are excited about sharing our ideas with the judging panel. Designing a museum proposal was a new venture for us and it was a challenging experience to attempt to visualise our ideas. For inspiration we hit the outdoors and had a lot of fun discussing our proposal as we trudged up a hill together.
The proposal has been created with COP26 in mind and the potential these events have to challenge and reframe worldly debates around climate change and sustainable futures. Working together on this proposal allowed us the opportunity to consider further the IGA’s mission in relation to global policy, such as Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. It has continued to strengthen our collective desire to promote human dignity through the development of just foodscapes and we are excited to hear more about the competition as it progresses.
This month the IGA team were lucky enough to pay a (socially distanced) visit to Levenmouth Academy to visit their incredible school garden and to meet the various people involved in putting together and sustaining this venture.
Duncan Zuill, founder of Bat’s Wood, and Claire McLeod, Principal Teacher for Geography, introduced us to the project and showed us the various ways in which the garden is used by pupils. We were also joined by community activist Ken Haig and mental health worker Iricka King who kindly shared their experiences of working with various communities and the importance of the garden to developing and sustaining community cohesion in the area.
It was inspiring to visit the site and to hear about the development of Bats Wood. There was a great deal of commonality between our two projects, including the importance of activism and protecting the right to access land for all. We discussed at length issues of austerity and shared our common desire to see school garden sites as both a response to and reaction against these violent measures.
We very much hope to continue to share ideas with Bats Wood and to revisit the site in the future!
Last month we held a virtual ‘Garden Party’ to celebrate the achievements of our Green Technicians who graduated the programme in May. We were delighted to be joined by our collaborators in Arizona, who came on to tell us all about how their Community and School Garden Program works in the US and the personal interests that brought them to the work in the first place. The international element is really important to us, so getting the chance to hear about their experiences as well as share our own was really valuable. Growing in Arizona embodies a whole different set of possibilities and challenges to the ones we face here in Glasgow, but uniting people in both realms seems to be the desire to get their hands dirty and do something.
The party was also a chance for us to introduce them to our Green Technician Programme, which was so inspired by their work, and tell them what we had been up to here in Glasgow over the past few months.
The Green Technicians chatted about why they got involved with the programme, and we were able to feed back some of the things we’d learned from them over the course of the past 4 months. Through interviews and growing diaries, we’ve been able to learn a lot about their thoughts on the programme, what they think school gardens can and should do, and the things that inspire them in the face of climate crisis. Their thoughtful contributions have been such a huge source of inspiration and positivity for us in thinking about how the programme will go forward, so this was really an opportunity for us to acknowledge this and thank them.
Our mission to build new worlds has always been caught up in the act of doing, and when the Green Technicians spoke about their work it was clear this was something they valued too. It is the opportunity to do something that so many young people crave, and it is in the spaces of doing that we might find the creative solutions to the big challenges we face. It was great to hear this reflected back from some of our more experienced colleagues in Arizona too, who were so encouraging and agreed with the Green Techs that the absolute best way to learn is to just give it a go! This is something everyone seems to love about the project, you don’t need to be an expert to get involved. Read, chat to people, ask questions but also… just build that compost and see what happens!
We thank our Green Technicians for all their work and wish them the very best going forward!