Glenlude helps Captain Planet Foundation celebrate 25th Anniversary

U.S. charity support for John Muir Award groups features in special celebration event.

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The Atlanta-based Captain Planet Foundation was set up by CNN founder Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle in 1991, and is now chaired by his daughter, Laura Turner Seydel.  25 years of supporting high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects has enabled over 1.2 million young people across the U.S. and around the world to make significant environmental improvements to their schools and communities.

Last year the Foundation partnered with It’s Our World, an arts and environment initiative that hosted over 30,000 artworks on its Online Gallery, to identify ten projects across the UK to receive £500 grants. Having attracted hundreds of art contributions from John Muir Award participants, the John Muir Trust was selected; support for planting native woodland at its Glenlude property was seen as an ideal fit with the aims of Captain Planet Foundation.

A former sheep farm and conifer plantation in the Scottish Borders, increasing numbers of local schools, youth and community groups get involved in the rewilding of Glenlude.  Pupils from Penicuik, Edinburgh and Airdrie visit regularly. It’s used as a project venue for Green Team volunteering and a Tomorrow’s People Galashiels Works! youth employability programme. And a ‘Phoenix Forest’ partnership has been established by Phoenix Futures drug and alcohol rehabilitation service users.

Trees are being grown from seed; local saplings are being planted; fencing, brash-hedging, tree thinning and biodiversity monitoring are being undertaken, all with significant volunteer input and with many of those involved using the experience as part of their John Muir Award involvement. 

Glenlude, and the activities there, clearly have an impact that’s recognised by participants and leaders alike:

  • “It’s not just about me, I am doing something that really means something, that makes a difference to this place.”
  • “Planting these trees is something special, they will still be here in 300 years.”
  • “We had a lovely time doing the John Muir Award and the kids really got into the swing of it. It was a huge cultural change for them but we had a brilliant start with a day of bushcraft at Glenlude which is fantastic place.” Primary school teacher 

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Rob Bushby, the Trust’s John Muir Award Manager, was invited to share these stories at a recent Captain Planet Foundation 25th Anniversary celebration event at the Ritz Hotel in London. “We need to support ‘active conservationists’, as conservation pioneer John Muir urged, and the support of Captain Planet Foundation is helping us to do just that,” commented Rob. “It’s helping young people to create new woodland that will not only be enjoyed by local school and community groups in future years, but by the increased wildlife it will attract too.”

Leesa Carter, Executive Director of Captain Planet Foundation added, “The work that the John Muir Trust is doing in Glenlude is exactly the type of project CPF loves; hands-on, experiential learning that builds affinity with nature and develops a child’s sense of self and their capacity to make a difference.  Rob Bushby’s beautiful and heartfelt presentation at the Ritz event transported us all from downtown London to Scotland – and we look forward to many more projects together in the future!”  

Rob speaking at Captain Planet event