Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Date With History

Just showed this to my son and he thought it was a brilliant idea. He is, unfortunately, too young to participate.

But if you, or anyone you know, are between 13 and 30 years of age, get on over to the Date With History website and tell the world about the future you want for the planet. You may win and get to go to the Rio Earth Summit in June.

There are also some great links to other organizations such as Plant for the Planet, Girl Up, Earth Day Network and many more.......

Playing Out

I love finding out about new people who so are inspired to get kids outside and active that they start a not-for-profit. This one is based in Bristol and I hope it goes global.

"What is Playing Out?
  1. Outdoor child-led free play on the street and around the neighbourhood. The term implies a degree of independence and is usually unsupervised or semi-supervised.
  2. The name of this particular Community Interest Company which aims to promote and encourage a return to street play through resident-led safe, direct action.
  3. An after-school street play session where car access is restricted and residents take turns to 'steward'."
Wonderful stuff. Very cute website as well....

International School Grounds Alliance

Just found out about the International School Grounds Alliance. Actually, I'm not behind for a change, as it has just been launched.....

It is... in their own words

"......a global network of organizations and professionals working to enrich children’s learning and play by improving the way school grounds are designed and used.  The wellbeing of children and the ecological diversity of their learning landscapes are intrinsically linked. The ISGA aims to support all schools in making the most of the opportunities excellent school grounds afford."

The video above is well worth watching. 

Doesn't get cuter than this

Via Guardian.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Haver til Maver

...or in English, Gardens for Stomachs......

I order my organic vegetables from this great company, Aarstiderne, and they have a side non-profit organization that they started in 2006, to run educational and development projects for children.

"The idea is that the farmer teaches students to grow vegetables in the classes very own school garden, outdoor kitchen staff prepares the vegetables along with a chef, and together with the nature guide they go exploring at the pond or the woods. Throughout the course of the Gardens for Stomachs pupils will be taught science / technology, agriculture, photosynthesis, cooking, healthy eating habits and more."

They also have quite a few publications on their website worth looking and "google translating..." if the need arises.......

Saturday, April 21, 2012

2012: London Olympics and London in Bloom

I absolutely love this............. Garden for the Games and Mad about Meadows. The names alone make me want to join in.

"Inspired by the creation of the magnificent wildflower meadows within the new Olympic Park, a group of organisations led by London in Bloom have formed a partnership to use the Games as a catalyst to enhance and improve other parks and open spaces across London and beyond. The aim is to promote the celebration and creation of both wildflower meadows and nectar rich plantings in order to encourage community engagement, enhance the local environment and increase biodiversity."

Love it, love it, love it.

Banking on green

ASLA have just published a white paper outlining that "green infrastructure solutions save taxpayer money and provide community benefits by managing stormwater where it falls.

Banking on Green: How Green Infrastructure Saves Municipalities Money and Provides Economic Benefits Community-wide, is a response to the need to further quantify the economic benefits of green infrastructure."

Excellent news, but something I think we all feel intuitively is just common sense. It's a shame that governments have to be persuaded towards common sense solutions in the first place, with the argument (report/white paper etc..) costing money to put together in the first place.........


Excellent research project from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

"Re-Imagining the City in the Age of Social Media: Livehoods offer a new way to conceptualize the dynamics, structure, and character of a city by analyzing the social media its residents generate. By looking at people's check-in patterns at places across the city, we create a mapping of the different dynamic areas that comprise it. Each Livehood tells a different story of the people and places that shape it."

Maps, I can't get enough of them......

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


"We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. We take them for granted, but they are a near miracle. In a bit of natural alchemy called photosynthesis, for example, trees turn one of the seemingly most insubstantial things of all — sunlight — into food for insects, wildlife and people, and use it to create shade, beauty and wood for fuel, furniture and homes."

From an article over at The New York Times.

The tree is the Major Oak, a very famous tree if you know the story of Robin Hood and only 5 miles from where I was born.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Got wind today?

Get busy with this great step by step guide on how to build a kite......

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Seth Godin

I like this post.


If your happiness is based on always getting a little more than you've got...

then you've handed control over your happiness to the gatekeepers, built a system that doesn't scale and prevented yourself from the brave work that leads to a quantum leap.

The industrial system (and the marketing regime) adore the mindset of 'a little bit more, please', because it furthers their power. A slightly higher paycheck, a slightly more famous college, an incrementally better car--it's easy to be seduced by this safe, stepwise progress, and if marketers and bosses can make you feel dissatisfied at every step along the way, even better for them.

Their rules, their increments, and you are always on a treadmill, unhappy today, imagining that the answer lies just over the next hill...

All the data shows us that the people on that hill are just as frustrated as the people on your hill. It demonstrates that the people at that college are just as envious as the people at this college. The never ending cycle (no surprise) never ends.

An alternative is to be happy wherever you are, with whatever you've got, but always hungry for the thrill of creating art, of being missed if you're gone and most of all, doing important work.

Many more interesting thoughts here.

It's all in a name, or is it?

An interesting post over at love outdoor play by Wendy Russell is worth checking out. Should we use the term "nature deficit disorder" or is it too prescriptive (if that's the right choice of word)......

I'm not a big believer in giving power to words and maybe rely more on the doing rather than the discussion (there's a discussion in there somewhere but it won't come from me)....... so I hope that this doesn't detract or distract from the focus of the debate.... and that is getting kids outside........

Architektur für Kinder

Really great blog found via playscapes.

There is so much information on playgrounds and the architects, landscape architects and designers who were involved; Lady Allen of Hurtwood, C.Th. Sørensen and Richard Dattner to name just a few.

Truly impressive.

Anyone involved in designing outdoor spaces should check this out. Because, let's face it, outdoor spaces are used by kids too......

Thanks to google translate I found out that it is a research project on the history of the playgrounds and in 2013 will hopefully be turned into an international exhibition.