I first saw an adventure playground as an anthropologist, there on ethnography fieldwork. Immediately, I knew this was the field for me.
Working with Penny Wilson at the Play Association Tower Hamlets and Bob Hughes at Islington Play Association exposed me to some of the UK’s best practice, and most troubled neighborhoods. I saw firsthand the difference that good staff play provision can make in circumstances of poverty and violence.
However, my own childhood in Southern California taught me that financial deprivation and play deprivation don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. In 2011 I helped to found Pop-Up Adventure Play, an international non-profit dedicated to supporting children’s opportunities for self-directed play in the neighborhoods where they live. We do this directly, and by disseminating playwork approaches for parents, professionals and community organizers in radically different communities all around the world.
I also work independently, offering speaking engagements, workshops and staff training on a variety of subjects including risk, creativity and team development, as well as playwork practice. Previous clients include the Imagination Playground (South Street Seaport), Pogo Park (Richmond, CA) and the Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Zone at the Ithaca Children’s Garden. Public speaking engagements include keynote addresses at the Children at Play Conference (Louisville, KY) and II Foro de Desarrollo Infantil (Bogota, Colombia).
Winner of the 3rd Annual Playwork Award for Playwork Writer