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2019 – ongoing

Nature-based environmental education

One of the most pressing challenges of our time is to deal with the earth in a way that preserves an environment worth living in for us and future generations.


Environmental education plays an important role in this. With Verein Grünwerk (Green Work Association), Winterthur kindergarden and primary school children become nature detectives and explore the biodiversity in water, in the forest, in meadows and in the neighborhood. The children are thus supported in the development of responsible action for the benefit of biodiversity and the climate, and at the same time benefit from the health-promoting effects of nature.


Teaching a responsible approach to nature and natural resources is the goal of environmental education programs. Nature-related environmental education brings across environmental topics in an experience- and action-oriented manner using concrete examples in nature. It creates a deeper relationship to the environment through active experience and understanding in and with nature, and initiates and supports processes for environmentally responsible behavior. The program highlights ecological interrelations and explains the value of a healthy ecosystem and a mindful use of existing resources.


The Nature Detectives school program is aligned with Curriculum 21 and geared towards education for sustainable development. It is comprised of five nature themes, each of which is prepared in a level-appropriate manner for kindergarden to 6th grade. The centerpiece of each theme is the Nature Day, which takes place outdoors under the expert guidance of Verein Grünwerk. To optimally integrate the nature day into the lessons, teachers are provided with prepared lesson plan, and an additional follow-up lesson, which they carry out independently with their class.


Every year, around 50 nature days are held and 1,000 children are reached. According to the results of the nature days attended, the students can name concrete facts, explain ecological connections to a specific habitat and list examples of responsible behaviour towards nature.


Forest habitat

Through exciting journeys of discovery in their immediate surroundings, the students get to know natural habitats better, such as the forest and its inhabitants. In an already familiar environment, newly acquired knowledge is playfully linked to previous experiences and prior knowledge. Through independent discovery and exploration as well as shared experience, their physical and mental health is stimulated and promoted. At the same time, they further develop their social skills.


Grünwerk Association, Winterthur

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