On The Anarchy Zone
The most exciting thing about the Hands on Nature Anarchy Zone at the Ithaca Children's Garden is how the play team talks about the playground as a space that is evolving. They are observing and responding to the kids and families of Ithaca, finding their footing with the practice of playwork, and experimenting with sustainable models for employing regular, well trained playwork staff.
Like Plas Madoc (home to The Land), Ithaca is a very playful community, and for that reason, the AZ is an exciting and inspiring model in the US. Peter Gray makes important points in this piece, essential critiques that the AZ would probably not deny. But as Suzanna Law aptly states, we can't go "from zero to chainsaw." And in the spirit of Bob Hughes, the defining quality of a good playspace should be CHANGE.
The Anarchy Zone is constantly changing. It is staffed and informed by Playwork. It is a baby, 2 years old, in the right place at the right time. Pay attention! It's the real deal.