This morning in my hometown paper (Daytona Beach News-Journal), I read an interesting story about a simulated surfing park that’s being built in south Florida, as part of a residential and commercial development.
Reports the News-Journal: “The nation’s largest “WaveGarden,” a simulated surfing park, is slated to come to Midway Road as a part of a 200-acre community development.
“It is to feature 800 residential homes, 600 hotel rooms, 400,000 square-feet of retail space, 125,000 of office space and thousands of potential jobs.”
I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, I appreciate developments that integrate residential and commercial; if done well, it reduces car-dependency. I also like that the recreational centerpiece is something besides yet another golf course.
On the other hand, Fort Pierce is located smack dab on the Atlantic Ocean! And Fort Pierce Inlet State Park is supposedly a surfer’s paradise.
Questions to ponder: How do you think “nature theme parks” got popular? What do you think of “nature theme parks”? Do you think they have the potential to bridge the chasm that’s developed between modern humans and the rest of the natural world? Or do you think they only serve to widen that chasm?
I’ll be back later to share some of my own thoughts with you.
Later — More thoughts. Could it be that our act of disconnecting from nature (to escape from bugs, tigers, snakes, and other assorted danger) has made life too dull, and that’s why we build adventure games and theme parks? Could nature theme parks, designed and operated by eco-aware people, be used as a gateway or “on-ramp” that eases people back into living more fully integrated with real nature?
My preferred focus will always be more direct: How can I entice more people to simply experience and appreciate the natural world that’s all around us right here, right now? What we love, we nurture and protect.