Posted by: EcoPeace Middle East | October 16, 2012

A Weekend at Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark

Students at the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Eco-Park for a three-day ecological camp.

On Thursday morning, September 27, a group of 30 boys from Mabarrat Um Al Hussein descended on Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Eco-Park for a three-day ecological camp. The students ranged from 12 to 17 years old and they were some of the happiest, most polite children I have ever met, and incredibly eager to learn about the environment.

A collection of images from the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh ecological camp execursion.

After a hearty breakfast the students started building geodesic domes. Once the domes were completed the children had a break. After the break the children built an herb spiral using finished compost soil, and then planted flowers in the spiral. After lunch was served the children went on an excursion to the nearby dam where they took pictures and played games in the eco dome. Once the children had returned they had free time before dinner, which was made by a local family. After dinner the children had fruit for dessert and we stayed up late singing and dancing together.

On Friday morning breakfast was served at 8, followed by a workshop on grey water systems. After a PowerPoint presentation on the subject, the students were divided into two groups and shown the water purifier that purifies the dam water into drinking water at the Eco-Park, as well as the waste water system at the outdoor sink by the visitor’s center. The students then practiced making their own grey water system using tanks, tubes, and other tools provided by FoEME.

After a short break the students started a workshop on composting. The children learned what to compost, how to differentiate between carbon and nitrogen, and the step-by-step process of composting. They were then shown the compost bins outside the visitor’s center and learned to compost their leftover food after every meal.

After a long lunch break, 200 trees where delivered to the Eco-Park and all the children and staff helped to plant them at various locations around the park. Before dinner the children got to see a small demonstration of the Eco-Park’s solar panel as a preview of the solar power workshop to be held the next day. In the evening we had chicken nuggets and French fries, fried on the premises, with 10kg of fruit for dessert (of which nothing was left!). The boys showed off their dabke skills and tried to teach us Arabic songs.

On Saturday, the last day of program, the students were taught about solar power after having their breakfast. Following the PowerPoint presentation on the subject, the students went outside to see demonstrations of a radio being powered by the solar panel and a teapot cooking on a solar cooker. The students were also shown the solar water heaters behind the bathrooms at the Eco-Park as an example of thermal solar energy. After the free time, the students went back on the bus and returned to the Mabarrat much more conscious about their environment than when they left.

This blog was written by FoEME intern Marielle Velander, who is based in the Amman office.

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