Thursday, 12 December 2013

You shouldn't have done that…….

Many thanks to George Monbiot and his great 'Spend, Don’t Mendblog. 

In it he refers to a the latest Toys R Us advert in the US promoting the idea that nature is tedious, and plastic thrilling.

It's got me fired up to fight back against this attack from a corporation who has no moral sense. 
How dare they promote their crap at the expense of the natural world! Over the years I have seen many kids get off a coach and run into the woods equally incredulous that they were so lucky they could have all this for free!

We must not let environmental education be seen as boring and we have a duty to promote the joys of nature over plastic trash. I have worked for over 20 years making environmental education more interesting but perhaps I have missed the point; should I even be calling it 'education'? Should I not be going out selling outdoor 'play' instead.

Of course, some may be taken in, their message comes in a medium very well suited to the fun toys promise, so perhaps we need to use their favourite promotional weapons to sell real stuff to kids and parents? Project Wild Thing are showing the way:

I need to refresh my efforts to attract kids and their parents to the natural world refining the ideas in my Jerwood submission compete with the likes of Toys R Us.

One fantastic interface between kids and the great outdoors is the park. The victorians made sure most of us have a local one. It's a less scary taste of a forest or meadow right on our doorsteps.
Some that work particularly well have been brought up to date with natural play features pioneered by Tim Gill.

Unfortunately the funding for many parks have been cut substantially so we need to find new ways to secure their future and make them play their part in a more healthy idea of play.

I'm looking for a local authority parks department who wants to work with a £100,000 budget from NESTA to develop new ways of making parks both sustainable and relevant to young people. 
If you know a council suffering cuts who may be interested in new alternatives do please put them in touch with me.

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