Our mission is to use the gardens and the resources of the NBI to inspire and enable people to take responsibility for the environment.
The Kirstenbosch Environmental Education Programme started in 1996. The Kirstenbosch Outreach Bus provides transport for learners from previously disadvantaged areas. Approximately 20 000 learners per year participate in activities offered, either as part of the Guided or Self-Guided School Programme.
There is also an Outreach Greening Programme operating in selected schools.
Guided School Programme
The Guided School Programme primarily supports formal education with exciting, hands-on activities that engage learners with indigenous plants and issues related to sustainable use of these plants.
It is based at the Gold Fields Environmental Education centre, which is uniquely set against the backdrop of Castle Rock in the magnificent Kirstenbosch Garden. The centre has wonderful teaching facilities :
- the Discovery and Lecture Rooms are large, colourful rooms that can easily accommodate 60 learners each.
- Our garden offers ample space and opportunities for children to sit in the shade and to experience plants through touching and smelling.
A team of trained and dedicated education officers facilitates the learning programmes.
The focus of all programmes is concentrated on activities outside in the main garden, but most learning programmes have an alternative indoor programme if it is raining.
Special programmes will be offered during the year:
- National Water Week
- National Environment Week
- National Arbor Week
Special holiday programmes can be arranged depending on requirements. Contact the School Programme co-ordinator for more information,
Schools using the Outreach bus may book a maximum of three days per year on the Guided School Programme.
Self-guided School Programme
The Self-Guided School Programme is offered to educators who wish to book for more than three days or who choose to do a self-guided programme in the garden. Educators are expected to attend a compulsory pre-visit workshop to enable them to plan this visit.
Teachers can also obtain resource material from the Centre:
Biodiversity pack (free)
Cape Flats Floral Treasures poster and workbook, limited number available, free
Plant Cards. Set of 32 A5 size illustrated cards with concise information on the back. Cost R20,00 per set
Free SAPPI posters - The Wonder of a Tree, Life under the Canopy of an Indigenous Tree (limited stock)
Find out about the Cape Flora Flier, free
Dept Water Affairs water posters, free
The Kirstenbosch EE Programme also offers something for the pre-schoolers. Cape for Kids run by Ali Corbett and her team offers an exciting programme for Pre-school learners. The little ones are introduced to Monty the Mongoose in a delightful interactive puppet show.
Sue Nepgen offers a fully packed holiday programme focussing on arts and crafts using indigenous plants for children aged between 6 and 13.