A sensory garden between orthopaedics, pedagogy and inclusion

Today we discover the great experience of a social cooperative who, starting from the world of catering, has created a wonderful sensory park where aromatic herbs, nature and orthotherapy mingle Protagonists.

The Aurora Valori & Sapori cooperative created Pescara in the first sensory garden in Abruzzo , a point of reference for educational projects and therapeutic activities closely linked to culture. In the cooperative that runs the project, there are 11 young people “with special talents”, 8 of whom have Down syndrome and 7 other people, all members of the cooperative.

History of social inclusion

The the Aurora “Valori & Sapori” social cooperative was born in 2011 from an idea of ​​some professors of the Hotel Institute F. De Cecco of Pescara. The need was create a bridge between school and the world of work which could particularly favor children who are decidedly more fragile .

Sector that operates, of course, the restaurant industry. The cooperative currently manages one of the most beautiful and equipped parks in Pescara, Villa De Riseis Park .

In addition to the bar and restaurant service, mainly focused on typical Abruzzo cuisine Within the Park, other free services are offered to users: study assistance for young people who have not completed their compulsory schooling, advice on fundamental rights and management practices for retirees, music and theater workshops, outdoor light and heavy recreational activities, summer campus.

On July 12, 2019, the cooperative inaugurated the first sensory garden in Abruzzo in the Park after two years of work.

Thanks also to this, A new project called “El Parque de los Bienes” has been launched, which aims to integrate, interact and empower people in disadvantaged and normalized situations in agri-food activities and services by adopting zero-impact farming practices with a very short supply chain. Local cooking workshops will be organized to promote and disseminate good food and health practices. Appropriate nutrition courses and guided outdoor sports activities will frame the whole project.

A sensory garden, between orthopedics and educational experiences

In the restaurant, the kitchen offers traditional regional dishes with particular attention to seasonal products. The park’s green space is maintained by 2 children with their guardians, as are the other activities. Each child is assisted by a member of the cooperative.

The Sensory Garden “Eng. Armando Portesi» becomes a destination for school visits. In November 2019 alone, eight nursery and primary classes have already been booked. The Garden has around seventy different tree species divided into four distinct areas. At the entrance there is a pond with waterfalls and goldfish. Inside there are water lilies, lotus flowers and Pontederia. To the right of the pond is an aviary with Inseparable type parakeets which with their chirping delight and intrigue the children, useful for pet therapy.

a bit later a concentric sensory journey with aromatic perennials . Each species is indicated by a nameplate in Latin, Italian and Braille. A QR code for the most demanding better illustrates the characteristics of the plant.

To your right is the podosensory pathway certainly one of the most popular areas for children. A path that is done barefoot and possibly with your eyes closed. The user feels strong stimuli in the sole of the foot and while identifying and memorizing the stimulus on the one hand, on the other hand he feels great relief throughout the body. To the right and left of the larger area of ​​the concentric path are lounging areas with pallet seating and a pergola.

Enter the garden on the left is the raised garden . Two portions of orchard of around 5 m² each, where seasonal vegetables are planted on a cyclical basis. The orchard is about 70 cm high and is also frequented by people in wheelchairs. The benefits of orthopedics are immense for everyone.

For schoolchildren there are guided tours “From seed to table” which will lead them to discover as protagonists all the way that a small seed takes to become an essential element to be used in the kitchen and to reach the table. From planting herbs and aromatic plants to harvesting them and using them in the kitchen; from preparing pasta and pizza dough to baking and tasting. It is essential to make them understand the evolution of cultures in relation to the succession of seasons, the notion of seasonal products and short circuit.

The garden also becomes in a point of reference for all associations of people with motor and cognitive disabilities who do not have a natural, protected and safe place to do therapy: from simple walks to physiotherapy and orthopaedics.

For information: Cooperativa Sociale Aurora “Valori & Sapori” a rl Onlus, info@avscoop.it 328 3850396. Via Puccini snc Zip code 65121 Pescara.

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