“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.


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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

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

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

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

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.