Climate protection garden for soil and environmental awareness education

Climate oasis Linz-Lustenau


Climate protection garden for soil and environmental awareness education


Planning and development of a climate protection garden with various elements such as a green classroom, a soil nature trail and a tiny forest to carry out environmental education activities. Workshops and courses about different garden-related topics such as soil, sealing, biodiversity etc. are developed and conducted with school classes and adults in the climate protection garden.

1. Organisation hosting the activity


Climate oasis Linz-Lustenau

Legal status

Association “Schwemmland” - Opening up, communicating and preserving habitats. Non-profit organisation

Year of establishment



Estermannstraße 11, 4020 Linz

The planning and concept for the climate protection garden was created independently by the owners of the property. On the 900m² area, a green classroom, a soil nature trail, a natural Tiny forest with approx. 600 regional and site-appropriate eye wood, as well as a school and experimentation garden are based on that area. Topics related to soil and climate protection are the focus for the learning activities. Along the 50-metre-long soil nature trail, various local soil profiles can be inspected and information on soil, texture and structure can be discovered and experienced. In this green classroom, people are invited to take a seat in the shade of the trees, and an information wall with integrated blackboard enables structured outdoor lessons/workshops. The climate protection garden is opened for guided cycling tours and school classes as well as private individuals for different workshops and courses. Above all, the environmental history of this location is told in a vivid way in the climate protection garden and urban climate phenomena and the benefits of urban greenery become visible.

2. Activity detailed description

The target groups for these environmental education activities are very diverse. School classes as well as adults can take part in the soil workshops, clay building workshops, etc. The educational activity in the climate protection garden was started with a total of four primariy school classes. The aim is to invite about three school classes a week on site in the climate protection garden and additionally offer workshops, tours and seminars to families and adults.

For being a trainer, numerous skills are important in order to manage a diverse target group. For example, it is important to have knowledge about the local conditions and the area (also seasonally). In addition, good communication skills, target group-oriented communication (different for children than for adults) and a love of dealing/working with people are required. 

Of course, it is also challenging to conduct educational activities in a climate protection garden with very diverse target groups. Because all of them have different needs. It is of central importance to engage with the different target groups and to pick up the participants on their knowledge level.. This means that due to the complexity of these topics, a didactic reduction of the content is essential to create sustainable learning experiences. For school classes, it is therefore also essential to have the responsible teacher present who knows the children and is a helping hand.

It is essential to provide a safe place in the climate protection garden where everyone can simply be, where there is no road nearby and an undisturbed, decelerated engagement with nature is possible. That is why (according to the organizer) it is essential but often also a challenge, to put down the mobile phone as soon as you enter the climate garden and to concentrate fully on the here and now. 

Learning outcomes for the participants are:

  • Independent experience of urban natural spaces
  • Knowledge about living organisms/insects in the city
  • Realizing the benefits and effects of plants
  • Understanding the value of soil
  • Understanding and experience the terms sealing, built-up areas

Implementation steps

  • 1. Creation of a climate protection garden

    Requires time, space, good planning and a detailed concept in advance. The construction costs must be planned and calculated before starting the project. Seating and space in case of bad weather must be considered in the preparation and planning. Construction work must be carried out by professional experts.

  • 2. Plan the range of workshops

    Ideas on topics and types of workshops need to be collected and concretized.

  • 3. Organise experts to conduct workshops

    Experts are needed who can pass on these topics in a clear and professional manner. They should have expert knowledge as well as enjoy working with people and have enthusiasm in their own field.

  • 4. Draw up an annual plan

    It is important to draw up a yearly plan in advance on which days of the week school classes will be invited and on which days workshops, courses and seminars will take place. The range of workshops also needs to consider the seasons within the year.

  • 5. Invitation/advertising

    Depending on the target group, the invitation of workshop participants and the promotion of events must be communicated through different media. Both local social media and existing networks should be used and schools as well as educational institutions and other community gardens should be addressed.

  • 6. Implementation of the workshops

    It is important to be on site in time, get an overview and prepare everything necessary such as tools and other materials. Then welcome the people/school classes and explain the schedule. It is important to get constructive feedback afterwards and to include it for future educational events.

4. Conclusions

For the founder of the Climate Protection Oasis, it is particularly important to make people of all ages aware of the value of nature and the inestimable value of green oases in urban spaces. The content of the workshops therefore focuses particularly on the topics of soil, sealing, urban greenery and urban climate.An important element of the workshops is free time for the participants in order to discover the garden on their own and thus perceive the garden as an experience space for themselves.

These recommendations can very easily be applied to other educational events in community gardens or in nature spaces in general. Enough time and free space can enable the participants to adapt to the learning/workshop environment and to experience and understand the natural space on their own and with all their senses. The diverse stations (soil, forest, sealing, etc.) can also be easily taken up and taught in other locations.

Advice / Recommendation

"The aim is to make the topic more tangible for children, young people and adults through touching and experience".
"People, who have private property in the city, such as courtyards that are not accessible, should also be made accessible and in this way make valuable green space in the city available and open it up for the entire population, that would be a great concern for me".