Van Dusen Garden Possibilities – Education

with Lulu Wang
– Founder and CEO of iGeneration Ed and Sparks Ed

On Friday I had a planning meeting about the upcoming Wild About Vancouver Event in Stanley Park on June 3rd to celebrate learning and being outdoors. Lulu Wang, founder and CEO of iGeneration Education Group and Sparks Education, is on the Steering Committee for WAV. We hammered out some ideas and I packed up to set off to my next meeting. I paused. What a great opportunity to observe these little iGeneration Education Outdoor Einsteins in action. I sent a text and pushed ahead my next meeting to allow me to join their class. I could see them just past the main waterfall.

I am a member of Van Dusen Gardens.  They do great work in creating an environment to heighten appreciation and learning about flowers, trees, and eco-systems.  I love the educational programs and the lending library for great source material.  They hire skilled and knowledgeable instructors that have so many interesting learning opportunities that they share with enthusiasm.  Van Dusen Gardens is part of my family ritual at Christmas during the lights extravaganza.  I use to schedule meetings with friends after work to just breathe and debrief after a long, hard day working as a school principal.  Yet, the potential of a garden to engage learners of all ages never ceases to amaze me.  

The iGeneration staff now have marvelous orange jackets so they are easy to spot.  I set off in pursuit of my iGen group of learners.  How hard could it be to catch up with a group of preschoolers?  

Well, apparently, it is quite hard.  En route, I asked passers-by if they had seen orange jackets with pre-schoolers.  

“Yes, not too long ago.  They were heading that way.”

And so off I would go.  I know these paths.  I have longer legs.  Easy, peasy.

I set off.  I found lots of small giggling friends.  Adults taking photos.  Or sitting.  Or writing. Or strolling.

I discovered the kids giggling on the tractor were not the little people I was searching for.

I went to the maze.  

Followed the giggles in the maze.

Found the exit. 

Identified familiar flowers and trees and birds.  

Made observations about the unfamiliar. 

Hypothesized.

Checked out the Fern Dell.

Made many inquires. 

Checked out the rock garden.

Considered the sky and made predictions about the weather. 

Found the waterfall.

Made predictions.

Stopped to take my own pictures.

Made more predictions.

Made observations.

Asked more questions.

Went to the bird playground and info area. Made discoveries along the way. Celebrated nature.

I did not catch up to the last of our little group until the parking lot.  Most students had been picked up by their parents and had headed home to share their adventures. What an opportunity for learning.  For conversation.  For gratitude. By the end of the night, I had over 13,000 steps.  Many at Van Dusen Gardens.   The fact that I was not able to catch up to a group of preschoolers speaks to the rich opportunity and enthusiasm sparked by taking the learning outdoors.  

Education Thread of Inquire2Empower:

A Wild About Vancouver post that celebrates learning and being outdoors.

Published by Carrie Froese

Curiosity guarantees a life of learning😀 Good questions inspire deep thinking and positive, proactive action plans.

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