- Provide each youth with a piece of paper and have them draw their favourite part or area of a community park.
- Arrange all the drawings into one large picture.
- Explain, “Some of the users of the park have suggested some changes to better meet their needs. The changes get approved because it makes many of the park users happier”.
- Symbolize this by removing 1 or 2 of the drawings from the park and move 1 or 2 other pictures to take up more space.
- Ask the youth:
- How does everyone feel about the changes?
- Who has been affected by the change?
Next have youth think of their favourite place to go with their family
- Where is your favourite happy place and why is it special to you and your family?
- Do you feel safe when you are at this place?
- Who else uses this place? (Various people, animals, insects)
- Why do you think others use this place? (same/different reasons?)
- Does everyone call the place by the same name?
- How would you feel if changes were made without considering your meaning of place?
- Do others make use of places in the same way? Differently?
- Do you think of your favourite place a little differently now?
- How could we go about making changes to the park in different ways?
- Drawing materials
- Optional: model building materials
Keep it Simple
Instead of each youth drawing their own item/area, provide the participants with a large piece of paper to represent a map of a local community park. Have the youth place pre-made cut-outs or pictures/photographs of items/elements/areas of interest at the park.
Take it Further
Instead of drawing a community park, provide building materials such as:
Craft items: popsicle sticks, twine
Natural found items – sticks, twigs, pinecones, sand, rocks
Tip: If using natural found items to bring back to the circle, youth can create an imaginary park or happy place. Each person takes a turn placing their item down stating what that item represents (i.e., the pinecone is a slide, etc.). Engage youth further by checking if they remember what each item represents before the next is added.
Take suggestions from the group but make a unilateral decision when moving the items. Everything could be reset at the end in a way that is satisfactory for everyone, as part of the discussion process.