“La Traversine” is the name for an urban pedagogical garden of 300m2 located on the roof of the Bercy school in the 12th arrondissement in Paris. It is one of the 30 projects selected by the City of Paris for its competition “Parisculteurs”.

[Traversine], a name that symbolizes a gateway towards other cultures,
as a North-South “agri-cultural” exchanges.

Located on the roof of the Bercy school, in Paris in the 12th
arrondissement, this terrace, originally intended only to serve as a passage in the event of evacuation, has today been transformed into an experimental and educational garden.

Designing Hope conceived an urban vegetable garden gathering several approaches to sustainable agriculture (agro-ecology, permaculture), already implemented by the association with children in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Swaziland, and Senegal.

By using the program “Communicating Classes” chosen by the school of Bercy, and the equipment of relay classes in Africa, the activities around La Traversine encourage the exchanges of experiences, and the activities realized around the garden.

Playful activities for children, organized in small groups during the extracurricular time in collaboration with the educational team, echoe with those carried out in the schools of the other countries.
We approach various themes: the soil, the seed, the cycles of life of a plant, the compost, the auxiliaries, the methods of culture.

We sensitize the children to the valorization of the resources of the school for the fertilization of the garden (composting of the leaves, branches of the trees of the courtyard, remains of the canteen).
Finally, we encourage them to try some plantations at home, if they have a balcony, or if they can access a garden somewhere with a family member, encouraging recycling, composting, and giving them seeds or plants, as we do in Africa.




The garden located on the terrace, required wooden structures made of Douglas as weel as pieces made of steel.

The Key Hole
It is a circular raised garden, comprising in its center a compost, whose nutrients are diffused towards the cultures which surround it.
Its name literally keyhole, comes from its shape. The lower part of the Key hole was designed to receive dead wood, to lighten the structure on the one hand and to provide an insect shelter on the other.

The Mandala
The Key-hole is surrounded by 7 trapezoidal shaped wooden elements, forming a flower inspired by the mandalas, which constitute a central element of permaculture gardens. It hosts market gardening seasonal crops.

Different levels of fruits
An alignment of 11 wooden elements of 2m long each with double levels of culture, host berries, according to the principle growing in layers: double row of strawberries in the foreground, then other berries in second level (raspberries, currants, blackcurrant, blackberries) , and others fruits climbing on ropes stretched at the back (kiwis, grapes).

The pergola
A meeting place with children, surrounded by elements where are planted perennial (honeysuckle, jasmine, vine yard) and seasonals (squash, pumpkins) climbing on ropes to create a shaded space.

The composter
Designed to store the leaves and branches recovered from the trees of the school yard.
It is surrounded by 2 bins, and also surrounded by a metal structure accomodating climbing cucurbits, to create shade for the compost.

The village of mini greenhouses
It consists of 4 mini greenhouses of 1m20 side shaped as small houses making a playfull area for children. The roofs of the houses, made of plexigas and stainless steel, can open in the summer.
This space is surrounded by wooden barriers, offering a double level of cultivation for strawberries and aromatic herbs.

The flower beds
2 large beds are filled with various perennial flowers, offering a bloom throughout the seasons, promote pollination.

Other experimental elements will be added over the months.


A project supported by:










Click below to follow the publications of this project:


La Traversine From the sky!
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The garden of La Traversine seen from the sky! On this 300m2 terrace on the roof of the Bercy nursery school, Designing Hope has set up an educational garden as part of the Parisculteurs project. This film offers a great … Read More

Summer vegetables at the Traversine
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The garden of Traversine in Paris benefited from an exceptional sunshine. This first year of cultivation was a successful test for several crops: very prolific climbing beans, tomatoes, squash, salad, corn …

La Traversine, summer 2018
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In this short video, you will see the evolution of la Traversine, pedagogical garden created by Designing Hope on the roof of the Bercy preschool. This virtual tour goes shows the culture modules and the variety of plants growing on the … Read More

The Transgarden food pyramid at Bercy school
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Designing Hope has designed a game around the food pyramid, with the aim of introducing the youngest to the principles of balanced nutrition. With a set of metal cards made in Burkina Faso and painted by an artist from the … Read More

Installation of the rope for the climbing fruits
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Garden of Traversine, 13 containers were designed on the principle of tiered farming. They are used for fruiters. A first row of strawberry, halfway up the container, then a second at the front of the tank, then berries (currants, currants, … Read More

A recylcled vertical culture tray
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Creating a terrace in an urban setting is an opportunity to find vertical farming solutions. We made this model with recovery pallets and empty bottles. The bottles were filled to 13 of clay balls to retain the water and prevent … Read More

frieze, tin cans and flowerpots
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This is the last step of the tin cans decoration workshop! After designinig black and white friezes inspired from traditional patterns from several African countries, after having them colored by the children of Bercy, we printed them on a water-resistant … Read More

“Goodies” of la Traversine crowd funding
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Women of the Fundzisa Live’s association, made at the request of Dessine l’Espoir bags sewn and embroidered hands, stamped “Transjardins”, reproducing several vegetables. This canvas bag, ideal for shopping, is sold to the benefit of the Transjardins project. Support la … Read More

Summer fruits and vegetables
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Le jardin de la Traversine bénéficie d’un ensoleillement assez exceptionnel sur le toit de l’Ecole de Bercy. Cela se ressent sur la précocité des récoltes, le goût des légumes, (les fruits sont gorgés de sucre) et le rendement assez étonnant … Read More

La Traversine – Paris newsletter
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La Traversine garden is presented in the journal of the 12th district of Paris, highlighting this summer the urban greening policy implemented in the district. Access the full article here

L’Oreal Citizen Day at La Traversine
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Designing Hope has received the support of a team of 18 L’Oréal employees for the Citizen Day. A day dedicated to the maintenance of the garden, and animation of workshops with the preschool and elementary children from bercy school.

recycling cans from the canteen
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The cans of the canteen were collected and painted in dark green. Filled up to 10cm of clay balls, at which level a hole was also drilled to form an overflow, they were filled with soil and biochar, and use … Read More

Drawing an hotel shelter
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elementary students were invited to draw an insect shelter   EnregistrerEnregistrer

Experimenting Biochar & Milpa at La traversine
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The Milpa also called “the three sisters”, holds an important place in the Amerindian mythology. We use it for biochar experimentation at La Traversine.   EnregistrerEnregistrer

Drawings with the children of Macambeni
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The children of the Macambeni center made drawings for the children of the Bercy preschool , as part of the “communicating classes” program, creating exchanges between educational gardens.   These drawings will be given to the children of the Bercy … Read More

A pedagogical composter
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At La Traversine, a demonstration compost bin was designed to show children the evolution of the decomposition process. We fill the tank by the left, mixing leftovers, peelings (nitrogenous matter) with the dead leaves recovered from the courtyard. Then, when … Read More

Useful Insects
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Designing Hope proposed in class an activity with the children of the elementary around the insects useful to the garden. A presentation of a dozen insects was made, then a questionnaire was given to the children to test their knowledge. … Read More

Marc Dumas at Bercy School
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Marc Dumas took part to a workshop with pupils from Bercy School, during his “Réburbain” exhibition at Gallery Umcebo. The exibition’s subject. Réburbain revisits and assembles ordinary urban fragments, a panoply of banal, common, functional, “no quality” and “unparalleled” objects … Read More

Atelier photo dans la cour de Bercy
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Marc Dumas s’est rendu avec l’équipe de Dessine l’espoir à l’école de Bercy, pour une animation avec un groupe d’élèves, à l’occasion de son exposition à la Galerie Umcebo, à proximité de l’école. Réburbain revisite et assemble des fragments urbains tout … Read More

Fruit trees in bloom on the Traversine roof garden…
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In its 13 plots inspired by the agroforestry staged culture, spring is in full effervescence: Level Zero … The strawberries in bloom start to form their first red fruits, Level 1 … Blackcurrants, currants, mulberries, raspberries, are covered with flowers … Read More

The Laafi suitcase
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The children from Bercy preschool made a decorated cardboard suitcase containing drawings, photos of their school, their garden, and their neighborhood, for the children of Laafi’s preschool. The suitcase was given to the association by Laetitia, responsible for extracurricular activities … Read More

Local flora drawings sent to Paris
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Dans le cadre des échanges entre les enfants s’occupant de jardins pédagogiques dans leur école et réunis autour du blog “Transjardins”, les enfants de l’école Hlohlo AME du Swaziland, ont envoyé aux enfants de l’école de Bercy (Paris), des dessins … Read More

The children of Roosboom are preparing a package for the children of Bercy school
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Like every afternoon, the children of Roosboom’s Half Way House come together for creative activities, sports, and garden maintenance before their meal is served. This afternoon, the children just receive a large envelopped with pictures and drawings made by the … Read More

Insect shelter
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The insect shelter aims at attracting beneficial insects to the garden. La Traversine now has 3 insect shelters: 1 on the terrace, one in the preschool court yard, and one in the elementary courtyard. EnregistrerEnregistrer

Decorated friezes for the Traversine garden
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In order to decorate the cans recovered from the canteen, we have imagined friezes inspired from graphics from the different countries where Transjardins works (bogolan from Burkina Faso, Zulu murals, decoration texts from Swaziland and Lesotho …) These line-drawn friezes … Read More

A cover for the keyhole
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A metal cover has been placed on the Keyhole of La Traversine Garden. It prevents the dead leaves placed between the kitchen waste to fly away. It retains the moisture of the compost, while providing heat that accelerates decomposition. It … Read More

Seed painting for Paris
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The children of the Hlohlo AME school in Swaziland have prepared an original gift for the children of Bercy school (Paris). They picked up pods from their school’s garden big flamboyant tree and decorated them with paint. Kids from Paris will … Read More

Collages at the Laafi center
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The children of Koudougou decorated tree leaves drawings by sticking metallic and colored stickers on them. These drawings will join the suitcase offered by the children of Koudougou to the children of the school of Bercy as part of the … Read More

Children of Koudougou colorings
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In the context of “communicating classes”, the children of Laafi kindergarten in Koudougou colored local tree leaves, such as neem, jujubier, mango tree, drawn by a facilitator. These drawings are destinated to the children of the Bercy school preschool, in … Read More

The Transgarden memory game at Saint Paul School
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s part of the project Classes Communicantes, a memory game was made by craftsmen in Burkina Faso. This game has been duplicated and sent to the different centers for which Transjardins has developed educational gardens. This memory, on the theme … Read More

The south african “suitcase”
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The children of the center Siletithemba centre in Roosebom, received an envelope from the children of Bercy school in Paris. with a lot of curiosity and excitement, the young people opened the pack addressed to them and discovered letters and … Read More

The Lesotho “suitcase”
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The children of St Paul’s School for Deaf were gathered for a surprise straight from France: a large envelope containing photos and letters from the children of Bercy school (Paris). Thanks to the sign language translation made by their teacher, … Read More

The tree of the Traversine is under constuction
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The children of Bercy elementary school, in Paris, took part to the manufacture of a tree shaped sculpture made of plastic bottles, paper mache and resin. Animation sessions were conducted on Wednesday afternoons and during school holidays at the elementary … Read More

The Swazi “suitcase”
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The children of the “Hlohlo AME” school of Swaziland, received a big envelope from the children of Bercy school (Paris)! For this occasion, they were gathered by the director to open this envelope containing letters and photos of their Paris … Read More

The burkinabe “suitcase”
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Transjardins brings together several educational gardens in France and Africa. in that context, exchanges have been put in place between projects, that share educational materials, animations, common educational games, on the theme of garden and nature, preservation of environment, and … Read More

The greenhouses of the Traversine
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The greenhouses are ready for the winter … It only needed the plexi panels to protect them from the cold

The leaves of the yard
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It’s autumn, not the greenest season for Traversine, but the opportunity to prepare biomass for spring! Every day, the staff of the 3 establishments (kindergarten, elementary and college), sweep the schoolyard to clear the dead leaves. Nothing was planned to … Read More

Autumn transplant at la Traversine
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This is the ideal season to transplant, especially fruit trees.   The garden of Traversine is turning green, with plantations of mulberry, raspberry, strawberry, but also honeysuckle and wisteria ready to cover the metal structures of pergolas next spring.  

La Traversine – First plants
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The beginning of 2017 saw the first seedlings and plants on the garden of the Traversine … The season is certainly not the best for seedlings, but we still have sown cabbages and leeks in mini the greenhouses, and lettuces … Read More

La Traversine – Construction of the Keyhole
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The Key Hole is a traditional vegetable garden system used for small areas, especially in Africa. Often conceived in stones, a light version has been made for the terrace of the garden “LaTraversine”. The Key Hole of La Traversine takes … Read More

La Traversine – Filling of the trays
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The construction of the beds is finished, they must now be filled! The first step is to cover the inside of the beds with a waterproof plastic sheet. For this, we used the bags of potted soil, recycling what could … Read More

La Traversine – Installation on the terrace
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After several months of preparation (manufacture of metal structures, cutting of the wood), we took advantage of the summer closure of the school to install the elements on the terrace. Below are some visuals showing the steps of this installation … Read More

Traversine – Manufacturing of the modules
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4m3 of Pine “Douglas” boards were cut in an Ardèche sawmill to make the beds and structures of La Traversine garden. The timber was cut to be assembled directly on the terrace, while the metal structures were manufactured and painted … Read More

Traversine on Paris Agriculture Fair
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La Traversine was presented on Parisculture booth at Paris International Agriculture fair.   www.traversine.fr – www.parisculteurs.paris

La Traversine, a pedagogical garden on the roof of a Parisian school
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La Traversine is one of the 34 projects selected by the City of Paris as part of the “Parisculteurs” project to create a garden on a Parisian roof. Designing Hope has conseived La Traversine as a paired project to existing educational gardens in Africa.