Thursday, December 21, 2017

tarzan's paradise...

Richard Louv, author of the book, Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder is offering charter memberships in a new organization intended to encourage the engagement of children in nature. It's surprising how just a small bit of nature and engagement in some very small part of the natural world can have a startling effect.

When I was a very small child in Memphis, there was a bit of unused and undeveloped land (much smaller than a lot) on our block that had not been filled in and leveled as had been all the rest. In those few square feet of unattended property there were a couple trees, a few wild shrubs and a grapevine hanging from one of the trees. So that became "Tarzan's Paradise" for my sister and me. We would grab hold of the vine and swing out over the uneven forest soil. Surely civilization has caught up with and destroyed that spot. If it was on some map at one time or another, it could no longer be found. And so it goes with the destruction of the natural world. Human reshaping of the natural world is relentless and not necessarily a good thing.

My own experience in Tarzan's Paradise suggests that unclaimed spaces can have a huge effect on the imagination of a child. To give children (of all ages) an opportunity to enter wilderness (even one as small as Tarzan's Paradise) is important to all else that they become in their lives. If we want the world to have meaning and to be protected from thoughtless behaviors and disregard, we must provide opportunities for children to enter wild spaces and to allow them to develop relationships with nature. For a bit more read here:

Make, fix and create...

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