The Dragon Garden is an important part of the infrastructure at the Druk Padma Karpo School in Ladakh, with a design based on sustainability and harmony. It will become a valuable teaching aid at the school as well as a place of stunning natural beauty.

School pupils will be able to gain invaluable hands-on experience of tending the land and growing food, and will learn about biodiversity, habitat creation and conservation, and so contribute in a small but vital way to global initiatives to offset carbon emissions. The garden space will also be used for sports, play and outdoor learning.

Michael Kern is a long-time supporter of Drukpa Trust, which supports the Druk Padma Karpo School. You can find out more in the PDF attachment to this post.

Maintaining Cultural Heritage

One of the key intentions behind the Druk Padma Karpo School is to provide pupils with an education that is grounded in the traditional culture of the region, whilst also equipping students with the skills necessary for thriving in the modern world.

The Dragon Garden will form an essential part of this learning, as pupils will be taught about the farming and agricultural work that has sustained their families for generations, while also learning about modern techniques for sustainability, land management and environmental protection.

Many young Ladakhis today look outwards to industries and livelihoods that are removed from the skills developed by their families across many generations. It is hoped that the Dragon Garden will help Ladakhi culture survive by showing how modern agriculture and horticulture can retain the ancestral link without resorting to long hours of backbreaking work as experienced by many parents and grandparents of children at the school.

The embedded infographic explores some of the challenges facing people in Ladakh in 2020.


Sustainability is a key feature of the Dragon Garden. Pupils will be encouraged to grow some of their own food and learn more about biodiversity, conservation, and other elements that combine to help protect and respect the natural environment.

Extensive planting will contribute to increased biomass in a barren desert land, which in turn contributes to carbon offsetting. These practices come hand in hand with lessons in sustainability that the pupils already learn through the solar energy scheme of the school.

The short video attachment contains more details about the solar energy scheme at the Druk Padma Karpo School.