Dubai: 4-year-old's birthday party goes green as kids learn about afforestation, gardening

Attendees got to get their hands dirty with soil as they planted seedlings to take home


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Fri 1 Sep 2023, 6:00 AM

Birthday girl 4-year-old Veronica Bhatia recently celebrated her special day in a unique fashion. Rather than going for an entertaining party filled with music and dance, she opted for a learning and conscious celebration. The focus turned away from traditional festivities, and toward learning about afforestation and gardening.

“We embarked on an educational journey to understand the importance of afforestation and gardening in combating climate change,” said Kinjal Bhatia, mother of Veronica.

Veronica invited her friends with a call to save nature. She told them they would be given a return gift that would help them plant more trees and make the city look greener.

As the friends of the birthday child entered the Agricultural World Gardens located in Al Hanaa Centre, their faces were painted with their favourite cartoon characters making it the first part of the celebrations. “Her friends enthusiastically joined in, making the event a unique blend of fun, education, and environmental awareness,” said Kinjal.

The event was held at Al Hanaa Centre’s quadrangle, where a place is designated for gardening and an interactive session was held which was led by an environmental educator. “The children gathered around as they were introduced to the concept of afforestation – the practice of planting trees through engaging discussions. The young attendees learned about the numerous benefits of afforestation, including carbon sequestration, habitat restoration, and soil conservation,” said Nippy Valiyaparambil, from Agricultural World Gardens.

Celebrating with gardening gloves

Following the informative session, the children donned gardening gloves and picked up shovels to get their hands dirty in the soil. “They planted a variety of saplings, with each child responsible for their own sapling. It was exciting as the children worked together, carefully placing the young trees into the prepared soil,” said Nippy.

“In addition to afforestation, the children were given lessons on basic gardening techniques. With the guidance of our horticulturists, they learned how to prepare soil beds, sow seeds to grow plants. Each child received their own small pot and a selection of seeds to plant, allowing them to experience the joys of nurturing plants,” added Nippy.

The celebration also featured a cake-cutting ceremony, pottery, and a lot of fun games for the young ones as well as the adults and parents. “It is a celebration in a very creative way. The attendees and parents were very happy [to see their children] giving back to Mother Earth.”

As the event concluded, the children left with smiles on their faces and plants in their hands as return gifts.

“We're thrilled to see our little one's birthday filled with not just laughter and joy, but also with a deeper connection to nature," said Kinjal.


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