By establishing a shared garden, our aim was to create a “green” space, able to inspire the pleasure of living in nature, within the structured and formal context of a university. The purpose of cultivating plants and providing the patient dedication necessary for a garden to prosper was to instill into students and teachers the desire to improve the environment they live in.
It seems that this target has been reached, at least partially. Two days ago, in fact, we found a little hedgehog in the garden, photographed by Rossella Bucciarelli.
The garden, conceived as a tool for cross-functional education, also serves as an important means of involvement in the community. It is a practical expression of interaction and social inclusion, a place in which communication is not mediated by those barriers that commonly intervene to alter relations between people. It is both a symbolic and real venue for rediscovering the value of slowness, concreteness, respect for nature, its fruits and the necessary effort to produce them.
The activities of the garden will also be presented at the Expo next 16 September.
This year has seen our activities extended to a wider circle than LUISS students alone: the elderly from the neighbourhood participating in local associations, such as Auser and Amuse, LUISS staff, who can work one hour per week, and our students, who will work in the garden according to a fixed schedule.
We are also working on a project that will involve 30-45 young people with autism, who can improve their ability to interact with others through the manual work in the garden.
All of this has been envisioned from a perspective of positive contamination of energies and knowledge, so that university can be truly become a 360° educational path.