Merian Gärten

2nd Prize:
Merian Gärten (Switzerland)

The Merian Gardens in Basel exist in their present form since 2012. They are an amalgamation of the agricultural Brüglingerhof founded in 1824, the Botanical Gardens built since 1968 and the new gardens laid out as part of the “Grün 80” horticultural exhibition. The Merian Gardens are run by the Christoph Merian Foundation and have a wide circle of sponsors, patrons and active friends.

As a botanical garden, the Merian Gardens understand “education” as part of their social responsibility. They intensively promote the relationship with nature by providing visitors with experiences that have a lasting effect on them. There is a special focus on nature education for children and young people. The aim is to promote appreciation for the beauty of nature and the development of sensitivity and respect for nature.

“School & Agriculture” was started in 1994 and was very successful from the beginning. The focus is on working and learning on agricultural land. Each class cultivates gardens and fields and cares for animals over a longer period, observes growth and processes the harvest. In this way the children learn where food comes from and how to use natural resources responsibly. Every year, around 600 children take part in this programme that is unique in Switzerland.