Garden Story: Episode 5 - The Garden as Teacher| 26mins
Director: Bill Reifenberger | Producer: Bill Reifenberger
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: United States
This episode features the Prudential Outdoor Learning Center, New Jersey's first urban environmental education resource center - a facility that serves low-income youth, grades pre-K through 12 - from Newark and surrounding urban areas. The center houses one of the most effective programs in the country to teach inner-city children about the importance and beauty of the world of nature. Host Rebecca Frischkorn visits the gardens and talks with volunteers, teachers, and students who recount their love of these gardens and the many things they have learned from them. Executive Director Robin Dougherty describes the efforts to create the Learning Center, and public school teachers enthusiastically recount the way it is already transforming the lives of their students. The students themselves energetically describe all they are learning as they return to the center again and again throughout the seasons. These children have not had access to the wonders of the natural world. Now, within the familiar boundaries of these thematically distinct display gardens, they can study and delight in a rich and multifaceted outdoor laboratory. These gardens are also a resource for the densely populated surrounding urban community. They offer an oasis of green, a respite for citizens of all ages who visit frequently to delight in the changing beauty, in the calm green of this inspiring, much-loved, and well-tended place. â€œGarden Story" is a documentary series depicting the extraordinary power of gardens to transform our lives and strengthen our communities. Ten engaging episodes filmed across America profile a wide variety of remarkable gardens. Some are creating positive social change in our cities, while others are protecting our natural environment. Among the exceptional gardens featured are therapeutic gardens providing healing and stress reduction in medical facilities, community gardens renewing urban neighborhoods, a teaching garden for inner-city children, a world-famous botanical garden supporting a global agenda of environmental stewardship, and a wet-lands habitat garden preserving endangered species in a rare mountain ecosystem. "Garden Story" challenges common perceptions of what defines a garden and explores the many different roles that gardens play in today's world.