How do other do the same things?

Business trip to organisations that arrange activities for visitors with special needs

At the beginning of October, we set out for a two-day business trip to draw inspiration and share experiences with colleagues from other institutions that arrange activities for visitors with special needs. Within the two days (3rd and 4th October) we visited the following institutions and organisations: the Medicinal Herbs Garden at the St. Procopius Basilica, the Vysočina Museum Třebíč, the Sensory Garden in Rudka u Kunštátu, the New Generation Museum and the Žďár nad Sázavou Castle and also the Arboretum in Žampach.

First, we paid a visit to Třebíč, where there is a medicinal herbs garden close to the St. Procopius Basilica. It is designed as a monastic garden with traditional assortment of useful plants. The local plants were evaluated as part of a diploma thesis reviewed by J. Skružná. We toured the garden and discussed the chosen assortment of plants. We were especially interested in how the medicinal herbs were presented in the historical environment of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also wanted to compare their approach to presenting these plants to the one used in the Prague Botanical Garden.

In the afternoon we moved to Rudka u Kunštátu, where we visited the local Sensory Garden. It is an unusually designed private garden accessible to the general public, which can be perceived with all senses. We drew interesting inspiration from here both for our project and for the educational activities carried out in our botanical garden. We toured the garden with a guide who explained to us the presentation of the individual elements. In the garden there are many functional exhibits and interesting sculptures created in cooperation with both artists and organisations of clients with special needs.

The next day our journey took us to the New Generation Museum and the Žďár nad Sázavou Castle. Here we found an exceptionally designed exposition. It uses the most modern technologies and original artistic solutions to describe the medieval history of the monastery, the life of J. B. Santini and the present of the Žďár region. We focused mainly on the opportunities for further cooperation regarding visitors with special needs, the use of audio guides and on the local information system.

Our last stop was the Arboretum in Žampach. The local garden is a member of the Union of Botanical Gardens of the Czech Republic. It is also a part of a complex which provides all-day care to its clients. They offer professional services to the handicapped and develop the publicly accessible arboretum. Many cultural events are organised here throughout the year. We really admired that besides the strenuous management of the day care centre they also take perfect care of the arboretum and the local information system and organise events for the public. Currently, they are planning a trail for visitors with special needs. We spoke about opportunities for mutual cooperation with the managers of the arboretum and we invited them to our garden.

Our business trip gave us much motivation for the methodology of working with visitors with special needs. It also enabled us to talk about many other areas of cooperation of the marketing and professional activities departments. The results were presented to the managers of both departments. The trip had also one more benefit: deeper cooperation and interlinking of the visited institutions!

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