Garden culture is an important aspect of life in Marrakech, one of the first ‘garden cities’ in the world, and is just as important to the education of the city’s youth as arithmetic or Arabic. Due to a lack of resources, faculty and staff of schools in Marrakech and its environs are unable to repair property damage or address hygiene issues created by accumulated litter, resulting in a learning environment ill-suited for students to realise their full potential – both as scholars and citizens.
This project, which began in the underused grounds of the Lalla Aouda Saadia all-girls high school in Marrakech, provided the material resources needed to rehabilitate school grounds with gardens and create a vibrant learning environment. School gardens in the Marrakech medina and beyond, including Koutoubia High School, Agdal Ba Hmad, College Abdelmoumen, Dar Talib in Aoufouss, Ibn Abi Sofra and Dar Taliba in Ourika, were transformed into recreational spaces, a source of nutritious organic produce for the students and a badge of pride for the schools. Drawing on rural and urban farming traditions, this project allowed students to learn about horticulture while creating school gardens that exemplify the garden culture of Marrakech.
In 2015, we started transforming our school gardens project to create a stronger emphasis on the exchange of information and awareness of traditional knowledge, providing opportunities for school students to learn directly from their communities. Read about the model ethnobotanical garden at the Dar Taliba boarding house. We continue to post regular updates on our gardens project here: Benefit 700 Moroccan girls through school gardens campaign.