The french campground that teaches kids climate change

November 11, 2019

In the middle of a forest in rural France, a single tree stands out from the rest. A small sign instructs visitors to hug the tree to reveal the “song to save the Earth.” Within seconds of touching its thick trunk, a deep, soulful voice starts to sing: “Watch out for fire, droughts, storms, floods and other disasters. Stop deforestation. The earth will soon be dead and torn.”⁠ (nothing like classic European directness)⁠
This is one of the many features of DefiPlanet, a 62-acre ecological amusement park that opened in 2011. Spread out across both forest and farmland, it welcomes about 130,000 visitors every year, most of them children and families from France, and occasionally from other parts of Europe.⁠

The park is organized into two main sections: the past and the future. The past is made up of animals—from rabbits, chickens, and horses to a camel and donkey—along with five villages meant to illustrate how our ancestors lived in harmony with nature. The future is set in the woods, where a collection of spirits and goblins tell stories and sing songs to teach visitors how to protect natural resources. Along the way, there are “touchstones,” or small white structures with built-in computer screens. They quiz visitors about whether they drink bottled water or travel to school by car in order to determine their carbon footprint by the end. ⁠

An environment education theme park!⁠

Source: City Lab