A new learning facility where participants can literally get their hands on and experience plant life was officially opened this morning (Friday 23rd September) at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, by MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness.
The new facility provides a horticultural learning space mainly targeted at primary school children and is a joint venture between the European study programme, Erasmus+ and the HEA with some financial support from the Office of Public Works.
Speaking at the event Ms McGuinness said: “The Erasmus+ programme is a great example of European cooperation. Young people have opportunities to study, train, gain work experience or volunteer. They get to know their peers across Europe, experience different cultures and make connections that can last a lifetime.”
She said the programme is aimed at creating opportunities for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion.
“This new facility is a great addition to the Gardens which are an oasis of calm and beauty, quite apart from being a scientific institution. It’s hard to imagine a better learning environment,” she said.
The MEP said she was delighted to have been able to ensure that the Erasmus+ programme now specifically includes people with disabilities.
50,000 students from Ireland have participated in the programme since 1987.
Over time it is hoped that the new facility opened today will house plant life from all EU member states so that visitors to the Gardens will be drawn to the Erasmus programme and be inspired by the opportunities that exist.