Children from Goodlyburn Primary School planned, designed and created an urban garden in the heart of Perth City Centre. St John’s Shopping Centre is now home to a colourful new greenspace with the hope of attracting some new tenants in the shape of Bees, Butterflies and Spiders.
The project was a joint venture between St John’s Shopping Centre, Goodlyburn Primary School, Scotland’s Rural College and Zero Waste Perth along with the support of other members of the community with the aim of creating a further space for biodiversity to thrive in the City Centre where space for such gardens can be limited.
The once unused space is now home to a ‘Bug Hotel’ and 5 new mini gardens that we’re created by the 10 Children from the local primary school. The children gained new skills and knowledge throughout the process from the early planning stages right through to the actual planting itself. The children were the key decision makers in the project with them planning how the space would be used and how they wanted it to look.
Christina McGregor, Class Teacher from Goodlyburn Primary School said: “We have loved working with St John’s shopping centre and the many other organisations and businesses who were involved in this project. The pupils have been empowered to make decisions and have a voice on how they wanted the project to developed. The children have been instrumental in creating a unique and lasting space in their City Centre and they are proud of what they have created”.
The project was a real community effort with Poundland kindly donating garden accessories for the children to use in their gardens, Starbucks provided used ground coffee that was used as fertilizer when planting and Allander Security and cleaning kindly donated 4 tonnes of soil.
Derek Martin, Marketing manager at St John’s Shopping Centre said: “We could not be happier with the vibrant burst of colour the children from Goodlyburn Primary School have created at the Shopping Centre. It was great to see such a collective effort from the community to put this greenspace together and also share their skills and knowledge with the next generation”.
Scotland’s Rural College kindly donated all the plants and shrubs used to create the gardens. Two horticulture students from the college also prepared the ground for planting prior to the School visit and also assisted the children with planting the flowers that they choose for their gardens and teaching them the importance of biodiversity in the City Centre. Scotland’s Rural College Student, Findlay Lang said: “It was a great experience sharing my knowledge with the children and assist them in creating their own unique and colourful flower beds. I was blown away by how enthusiastic and keen the children were throughout the process”.
Zero Waste Perth delivered a class room exercise outlining the importance of recycling, upcycling and the reuse of plastics with the children then making decorations for their garden space from used plastic bottles. Zero Waste Perth Coordinator, Fiona McBain, said: “Single-use plastics like bottles and straws are very much in the headlines right now and there is a real urgency to tackle the issue, so we’re delighted to link up with St John’s Shopping Centre and Goodlyburn Primary School. Zero Waste Perth want to encourage people to consider reusable alternatives whenever they can; but if you do have a plastic bottle lying around you could either recycle it in your blue-lidded bin or ‘upcycle’ it and make something fun like our rainbow garden spinners.”