NCC published an open-access school guide, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE). The manual offers a stimulating array of “learning by doing” nature-based activities for young people. Children participating in the program work with communities on small projects in villages. Activities are one day long, innovative, fun, and non-formal, bringing together youth from all over Lebanon.The 33 activitites described in the manual fall under 6 themes and serve 5 general goals. They have been piloted and refined for optimization, and continue to be implemented through events organized by NCC or by schools as part of a yearly competition.
Theme 1: Reforestation is a theme that is important both for Lebanon’s biodiversity and for students’ physical and psychological growth. Through this theme, different groups of students perform hands-on activities, related to Seed Collection, Seed Planting, Wild Plant Production, Tree Planting, Spring Cleaning, and Summer Watering, under the supervision of AUB volunteers, a research assistant, and a field worker.
Theme 2: Sustainable Living educates and exposes youths to the techniques used for different seasons' harvests (olive, apples, cherries, grapes), as well as to the collection of wild edible plants that and are rich in nutrients, through an activity called Farmer’s Friend. It also exposes youths to Recycling, in which different groups of students learn how to recycle paper, aluminum, batteries, cans, glass, and organic waste.
Theme 3: Nature Care educates youths and provides them with the opportunity to care for their surroundings. This theme is highly rewarding, due to its Trail Rehabilitation, Forest Cleaning, and Riverside and Beach Cleaning activities.
Theme 4: Enjoying Nature is more focused on the fun aspect of nature conservation and mostly involves external centers and organization, through which NCC can expose participating youths to activities like Cycling in Nature, Animal Visits, Nature Hikes, Bird Watching, Reserve Visits, Geological Cave and Museum Visits, Honey Making, Bee Care, and Village Mapping.
Theme 5: Heritage and Crafts is a theme that reawakens the memory of Lebanon’s heritage in the heart of its youth. It includes activities like Pottery, Soap Making, Glass Making, Copper Carving, Traditional Textile Knitting, and Traditional Methods of Winter Food Storage.
Theme 6: Nature and Art caters for students with an artistic inclination by rekindling the link between art and nature. It involves students in mural painting on a Forest Wall, mosaic tiling of Green Heart Benches, and the art of looking at nature behind lenses, Nature Captured.
Partners and Collaborators
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE)
NCC also received assistance from municipalities and private entities interested in supporting the program, as well as private and public schools around Lebanon.
Annual Competition and Winners