In May 2019, the Maruyama Group, which conducts local educational activities in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, in cooperation with the Mii Elementary School, started an environmental education project called the Feast Project of the Mii SDGs. OUIK supports such educational activities that use the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site, Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi, to aim for a sustainable future.
Although lumped together as a single designation called Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi, there are many kinds of traditional area-specific cultures within it. Hoping that activities such as this one by Mii Elementary School will be also conducted in other regions of Noto, we are working together with local communities to create a platform for enabling interactions between the satoyama and satoumi.
For a year, the project aims to provide a way to learn about local nature and traditions, and their connectedness, through the process of making a feast based on the picture book Let’s Make a Harvest Feast! Getting out of the classroom to listen to the stories of local people and work with friends to make a feast fosters the children’s creative thinking, sense of pride for the local community and sense of appreciation for nature in the satoyama, by making them go through the process of thinking and doing things for themselves.
The first activity of the project held in May involved harvesting the wild vegetable, bracken, in Maruyama at Mii, Wajima City and pickling it in salt. Since it was the first time for many of the students to pick wild plants, they were given plenty of hints by the local people and Yuki Hagino of the Team Maruyama as they looked down and searched hard. Where and when do brackens grow? What kind of plants and animals live alongside it? In their remaining time, the children also made bamboo-leaf boats and enjoyed their day of learning.