Enhancing awareness of sustainable development by consolidating social links

To involve a variety of publics in nature conservation, "La Clé des Champs" has created an educational farm in the heart of the Nantes built-up area. A project aiming to create a social bond, especially through a partnership with UNIS-CITÉ.

Environment and Biodiversity

Bougeonnais, France

Tiphaine Deas

8 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/06/16

Project leader

La Clé des champs

"For me, this project fits into each of the Foundation's three guidelines - environmental, economic and social - because the action of the association "La Clé des Champs" is aimed to enhance the local heritage, to rely on eco-landscape gardening techniques, to raise public awareness. It also serves to create two full-time jobs. And the approach to involve a variety of publics in general, and to involve the young persons of UNIS-CITÉ in particular, represents a powerful social vector. These youths will be able to discover teamwork, the need to achieve an objective - site remediation and securization - without overlooking the awareness of the natural element."

Tiphaine Deas

Since 2004, the nonprofit "La Clé des Champs" has been promoting exchanges between town and country, around issues of sustainable development. An educational farm was accordingly created three years ago in the commune of Bougeonnais, near Nantes, offering activities in the discovery of nature, the environment and especially of farm animals. A salient feature of the association is its determination to interest a wide variety of publics, including through travelling events: schools, leisure centers, retirement homes, specialized institutions, hostels for youths in difficulty, families, etc. The site is also accessible to handicapped persons and panels in braille are installed close to the pens. Besides, "La Clé des Champs" also wants to involve these various publics to the maximum in the events and the life of the site.

Youth training and potentialization

Since 2007, the association has simultaneously performed a social role, by developing a partnership with UNIS-CITÉ, to welcome youths in the Volunteer Civil Service at the farm. With four major objectives: to create a link with these citydwelling volunteers; to familiarize them with the discovery of nature; to help them acquire knowhow; and to involve them in the upgrading and understanding of their territory.

Two teams of eight young persons were accordingly mobilized in 2009 to participate in the remediation of the site and to refurbish 300 m2 of fences. To finalize the project, "La Clé des Champs" applied to the Veolia Foundation for support to purchase the equipment required for completion. The youth teams will take charge of replacing the damaged fences, under the supervision of an eco-landscape architect, who will provide them with training in remediation techniques respecting the natural environment of the sites.