di Elena Truncellito



In Saint Pancras Cathedral in London the children learn about religion and the church’s word playing in a sort of play centre created in the God’s space. In Parma (Italy) they meet nature and environmental education in a play centre “built” from Legambiente.

The Legambiente is a more important group in Italy but in Parma it is a main association, it proposes many events to improve the green life’s quality. This ONLUS counts 800 volunteers among the different relationships, for example with social cooperative “Cigno Verde”, it employs prisoners and underprivileged people. Or with L.E.D.A, the organization that works to realize the “L’Isola che non c’è”.

The curiosity move us to speak about with the project’s authors to understand the idea and the organization. Ambra De Lorentiis, organism’s secretary, answer to our questions.

The second star to the right, this is the way and then straight up” the door of nature and of entertainment. The colours, they enjoy and the play with the employers’ kindness who work. They for years to create many Legambiente’s plan welcome us.

It’s frequently that Legambiente open the door to the children. What is the project “L’Isola che non c’è”? When is the idea born?

The circle Legambiente Parma has been looking after environmental education for years thanks to the foundation of L.E.D.A. (educational and environmental documentation laboratory) that realizes project for different age, at school and outside school.

For a long time there was been the desire to set up a Center for Environmental Education in our office. It all started with a meeting took place last summer, it was with girls of the “L’ombelico del mondo” who ran a play center in Parma, where proposed recreational experiences for children. Together we have began to dream that to combine two projects was possible.

Where the idea came and to create of an after-school-recreation center, useful for families and simultaneously able to propose the Legambiente’s content and the methods.

 And the idea was born and walking becomes reality. Who is the opening for?

 The after-club is for children aged 5 to 11 years and their families.

From a logistical and practical point of view, who are working in this project and with such references?

The group is composed of a dozen educators, entertainers and volunteers. They operate in the school and the education of the environmental education center. All have specific training and experience in education.

The age of children, that the organization receives, allows recreational activities and learning times, which method does use Legambiente for children and teenagers come near to the ecosystem?

The activities of L.E.D.A. have never been only playful. For us the game, the lab manual activity is a teaching tool. As always, we build activities for children and adolescents on this principle. Experience, feelings, emotions are the concepts on which we build our laboratories. A research work that has the objective to promote in the child/teenager initiation or support of a culture of sustainability.

 The structure of the toy library can be called sustainable? How is articulated?

The idea of an eco-sustainable structure is a noble goal, but not easy to achieve, especially in light of the actual constraints that the structure gives us. But we have the utmost attention to the impact of our laboratories. For example, we care not to waste electricity, always turn off the lights when not needed, using the snacks with less packaging, choosing organic produce or fruit, and use glasses. The materials used in our laboratories recovery. So the focus is high, but of course there’s always room for improvement.

 What is the parent’s response to the proposal that you are offering?

We have had very positive feedback. Parents show great interest in our work, not only because they approach the children to environmental issues, but also because the activities allow them to experience a genuine alternative way to spend free time and live the game.

What are the differences between a toy library run by Legambiente and any other?

Ours is an environmental organization, so everything we do is designed to communicate our principles of love and protection of the environment and promote a culture of sustainability.

What do you think a parent can teach their child to grow up respecting the environment in which it was born? And how could it?

Obviously the parent’s role is crucial in any learning process. Everything that we try to communicate with our activities should be increased by the collaboration of parents, which should set a good example and show that compliance with the environmental best practice, from small daily actions. For this reason, the activities of “ L’Isola che non c’è” are trying to involve families, we create relationships that will strengthen cooperation and mutual trust.

For some time, “Neverland” has found his land. And as always, children can show us the way to find it, just follow the scent of nature. Legambiente teaches, just when you need it most, how to live and respect the earth, teaches children and their families as not to step on the land where you live but walk about with care!