Saving the Planet One Story at a Time
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Nadine Guimond works with ING DIRECT, an online investment and banking company. Her experiences with the company demonstrate a growing trend towards corporate social responsibility in the workplace.

Sharing Willa Black’s enthusiasm for positive green activities at Cisco, Nadine shares her hopes with us for more projects that help us connect to our environments, like ING’s playscape.

By Nadine Guimond

Nadine GuimondEarly in 2009, my employer, ING DIRECT put forward a staff challenge to come up with an idea to get as many employees as possible involved in a community improvement project. I put forward the winning idea of building the city of Toronto’s first natural playground.

On September 17th 2009, close to 500 ING DIRECT employees transformed McCleary Park into an innovative playscape featuring a hill slide, climbing boulders, sand area, musical instruments, mature trees as well as an inverted tree.

ING DIRECT has since created a natural playground in Ottawa and added natural elements to play areas of a Toronto community housing residence in October 2010. The company that helped make all of this possible isBienenstock Natural Playgrounds.

I’m passionate about the necessity of reconnecting children with nature. Preferences for electronic entertainment along with highly scheduled extracurricular activities often leaves little time for nutritious meals and unstructured play, resulting in a rise of childhood obesity.

If the trend continues, for the first time in history North American children will have a shorter lifespan than the generation before them.

I grew up in Temagami, a small town in the middle of a nature preserve in Northern Ontario. My childhood was spent building forts, climbing trees, hiking through the woods and exploring the world around me.

My early years definitely instilled a passion for a healthy lifestyle and environment. There’s a Native American proverb that says, “We do not inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

Let’s do what we can to make nature something all children care about and have a deep connection to!

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