Many of the nature-based activities the children at Leuser Nature School undertake are centred around plants, as the school shares a site with Orangutan Information Centre’s permaculture demonstration centre and the Bukit Mas restoration site. The children recently helped to create a Medical Garden, contributing seedlings from their parents’ gardens and helping to plant and maintain them. Now, each week, they devote some time to keeping the plants healthy and free of weeds, while learning from their conservation teacher about the benefits of traditional plant-based medicine for conditions ranging from nausea and headaches to skin conditions and fevers.
They have also been working on a flower garden in a semi-circular rockery outside their classroom. By scattering chrysanthemum seeds in various colours and planting lemongrass around the border, they’ve made their flower garden not only beautiful, but practical too – lemongrass helps to deter the mosquitoes which would otherwise gather in the shade around the classroom.