Green culture for children: The Crime in the Botanical Garden
At the Bergamo Botanical Garden this year they have invented a way to involve children in learning techniques for searching for information on nature.
How did they organize themselves? They took a photo of an Otzi-type mummy, in short dead for hundreds of years and preserved in a natural way in a peat bog – which, having a very acidic pH, did not allow bacteria and enzymes to consume it – and showed it to the kids together with a story concocted to simulate a crime.
Crime in the Botanical Garden: The Team involved
They then fielded Palynologists (experts in pollination), Pedologists (experts in the soil) and Dendrochronologists (experts in dating based on the counting of tree rings) who set up a research on pollen to find the flowering period, study of the soil for the determination of the ph and leading the boys to understand who could and who could not have committed the crime.
This initiative has multiple positive values concerning cognitive stimulation, teamwork and the cultivation of curiosity, values that are so useful for young people to face life.
Last but not least, the value of working outdoors that we adults have also lost a bit with the pandemic and smart working.
How was the Bergamo botanical garden born?
The Botanical Garden of Bergamo, the one in Upper Bergamo, was born in 1972, is a museum recognized by the Lombardy Region and is part of the system of civic museums of the Municipality of Bergamo. Its operation is governed by a regulation of the City Council passed in 2004.
As the site mentions www.ortobotanicodibergamo.it “the civic botanical garden of bergamo Lorenzo Rota is a Museum institute open to the public, non-profit, of a permanent nature and at the service of society and its cultural, social and economic development, which cultivates, exhibits, researches, collects, acquires, conserves and studies plant collections”
How many locations does the Bergamo botanical garden have?
Today the Botanical Garden is made up of three places that interact with each other: the section of the upper city which they have entitled “A window on the landscape”, the section of Astino called “Valley of biodiversity” and the Sala Viscontea.
When and how to enter the botanical garden? How long does it take to visit the botanical garden? How much does it cost to enter the botanical garden?
Composition of the Botanical Garden: The Upper Bergamo section “A window on the landscape”
It can only be reached on foot, covers an area of about 3000 square meters and is divided into thematic flowerbeds. For several years it has devoted great space to alpine species but, also given climate change, today it can also develop on other fronts.
The botanical garden is open from 1 March to 31 October and the visit is free. On their site you will find the AUDIOGUIDES divided into convenient online tracks. Upon entering you will also notice the “Polveriera”, an integral part of the defensive system of the Venetian walls, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The times are for each day from March 1st to October 31st:
March: 9.00 – 12.00 14.00 – 17.00.
From April to September: 9.00 – 12.00 14.00 – 18.00.
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 9.00 – 19.00
October 9.00 – 12.00 14.00 – 17.00
Composition of the Botanical Garden: The Astino section “The Valley of Biodiversity”
It was inaugurated in 2015 on the occasion of Milan Expo. If you want to take a walk around the Astino Monastery, you will come across this section which is part of the wider recovery project of the Astino Valley, which involved the ancient Vallombrosan Monastery and the whole surrounding area.
The Valle della Biodiversità is an open-air museum that occupies an area of 3 hectares, of which approximately 9,000 m2 are dedicated to the cultivation of over 1,000 varieties of horticultural and fruit-bearing plants.
This visit is also free with the same timing as for the Bergamo Alta section.
Composition of the Botanical Garden: The Sala Viscontea
In 2005 the Botanical Garden acquired this beautiful room located between Piazza Cittadella and the park “La Crotta”. Of fourteenth-century origin, it is a multifunctional space perfect for hosting the various activities organized by the Botanical Garden and can be visited on public holidays.
The heart of the Bergamo Botanical Garden: The Botanical Collections
Living Botanical Collections present in the Garden
The characteristic of a botanical garden is the underground presence of different species revealed by a tag that specifies their name and origin.
Thematic flowerbeds are largely dedicated to native flora, but also host species from a wide range of Mediterranean, Asian, American, African and Australian geographic regions and groups of various ecological significance (such as insectivorous, tropical, ) and anthropic (medicinal, food, ornamental) and the greenhouse dedicated to succulents.
In the Valle delle Biodiversità di Astino, on the other hand, we find about 200 species of food plants, with over 1000 crop varieties to educate about sustainability and help harmonize the relationship between Man – Agriculture – Nature starting from the local context.
The Museum Botanical Collections on display in the Garden
There are also collections useful for study at the Botanical Garden such as the herbarium, the Hortus Pictus Bergomensis, the Mycological collection, the Pomological Collection and the Botanical Models, all collections made with different materials such as papier-mâché, wax, wood, plaster, cardboard and all for educational purposes.
Promotion of city gardens and green culture
The Bergamo Botanical Garden was asked to promote among citizens organic cultivation practices of both ornamental and horticultural plants, in order to create a city mosaic of biodiverse green areas, usable in their free time by residents and tourists and this, together with the work of Arketipos, mondodelgiardino.com and other associations and organizations, we hope it will contribute to developing the sense of belonging to a territory seen starting from one’s own private garden, opening towards the territory all around and beyond.
The events of the Bergamo Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden annually organizes exhibitions, guided tours, workshops for girls, boys and adults, conversations and conferences, in addition to refresher courses, other educational activities and cultural events that support the study and conservation actions of the natural plant heritage and of threatened ecosystems and carries out projects for the reintroduction of endangered species into the wild.
Monthly calendar of events organized by the Botanical Garden: April 2023
The presentation of these events is monthly. In April, for example, on the 15th there will be the “Laboratorio Prati d’autore” where, starting from famous flower paintings, you will get to designing a flower bed for your own garden.
On the 16th at the Astino headquarters, you will learn about cereals and how to prepare bread with the cereals harvested the other year in “Conosci e Gusta: il pane dei cento cereali” (but reservations are required)
On the 22nd, in Bergamo Alta, we will work on photography and pollination: how to best frame nature for children aged 12 to 17 in the meeting “Bee Photographer” (always by reservation).
Now on horseback! Work awaits us! Our new wonderful outdoor space is about to be born!
GOOD WORK and … if you have any questions please write to email@example.com
For the Sources of the images thanks to: for the photo by Otzi settedomande.altervista.org; for all the other images we thank the Bergamo Botanical Garden and its very kind, organized and industrious work team.