A Doha College primary school project has officially blossomed into life with the launch of the West Bay Campus Learning Garden.

The Learning Garden was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Occidental Petroleum of Qatar Limited (Oxy Qatar) and has been in development for more than a year. Doha College Principal Dr Steffen Sommer said the garden was a valuable outdoor addition to the campus, providing a site for children to relax but also to learn.

Dr Sommer said:

The garden is designed to stimulate the student’s senses – there is everything from cacti to carrots. Our staff are using the garden to bring lessons to life for our students. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Oxy for their support as the Learning Garden is well-loved by the students and the broader Doha College community.’

To celebrate the official launch, Oxy Qatar President and General Manager Mr Stephen Kelly, Doha College Principal Dr Steffen Sommer and students from the Doha College Gardening Club buried a time capsule in the garden.

The capsule is filled with messages from the students talking about their hopes and dreams in 50 years’ time, a pin badge and USB with the College’s prospectus and images of the garden, the school and Qatar plus a copy of the Gulf Times paper from the day.

Mr Kelly said:

On behalf of Oxy Qatar, we congratulate Doha College on the inauguration of the Learning Garden. We know a lot of effort has gone into bringing it to life and now the Doha College community can enjoy plants, vegetables and herbs right here in its own school, bringing to the students first-hand experience of the things they learn in class.’

He added:

At Oxy Qatar, we strive to be a partner of choice. We are committed to being a valuable contributor in each of our operating locations.’

Primary Class Teacher and Curriculum Enrichment Coordinator Mr Darragh Shanahan said students, staff and parents had spent many hours planting, weeding, watering and painting over the months.

Mr Shanahan said:

As the garden has grown it has become a focal point for the campus and the students. Students have picnics in the grassed area, our after-school gardening club spends time tending it, and parents use it as a place to relax when collecting their children.’

‘I would also like to thank Paige Tantillo for her support throughout the project; it would not have possible without her vision and skills.’

Visit Doha College’s website for more information.