Posts Tagged ‘Last Child in the Woods’

By Chris Peterson and Brooke Williams

THESIS: We propose that facilitating and investing in the creativity and imagination of the next generation is perhaps our greatest hope for a sustainable future on Planet Earth.

The ArtParks Experiment is designed to produce an urban parkspace development model for application in urban and suburban areas that is driven by grassroots processes involving art, local leadership, and a network of community relationships and resources.

BACKGROUND: Richard Louv’s bestselling book The Last Child in the Woods provides strong evidence that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Nature Deficit Disorder, as he calls it, is the product of children not spending enough “unstructured play time in natural areas”. Based upon our own experience, we agree and think that imagination and creativity are the perfect vehicle for a grassroots approach to this problem.

In response to the idea that children in urban and suburban areas are the most susceptible to Nature Deficit Disorder, Great West Institute began work on rethinking the urban and suburban parkspaces and the ideas of David Sobel‘s place based-education. The result is a multi-phased pilot project dubbed (more…)


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DSC03644This labor day weekend, the ArtPark received some improvements to better facilitate imaginative and educational opportunities for children visiting Tracy Aviary. Katherine Brown (GWI Intern) created some signs for new exhibits about creating flamingo ad finch nests and eggs. We also brought a number of children to the park this weekend who participated in creating new features in the park. Zoey Brown, Ruby Brown and Shiloh Peterson helped paint birds and flowers on benches and tables and also helped me create a bamboo hut structure. A number of new directional signs were also added. Check out this flickr link below for many more detailed photos.


ARtPark-Labor Day Weekend

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dsc_0123Great West Institute recently partnered with Dilworth PTA, Tracy Aviary, UMFA Education and Utrecht Art Supplies for a creative learning field trip at the Aviary. As part of The BirdMask Project, about forty children (ages 3-12) and their parents enjoyed a live bird presentation and the opportunity to make bird masks at the Aviary with peacocks and flamingos looking on. Great West’s Kid’s ArtParks Club. This event marks the beginning of a partnership with the Tracy Aviary to increase the number of children who visit and enjoy the Aviary.
Dilworth Art Exploration Club at Tracy Aviary

Click on photo for image gallery from the Bird Mask Project & Dilworth's Art Exploration Club at Tracy Aviary

From the Dilworth PTA promotion poster:

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