They want a makeover for their playground: Freising children have turned to Bernhard Knopek from the city administration and city councillor Nico Heitz with their ideas. © Lorenz
The playground on Finkenstraße is supposed to be more beautiful: That's why the children have now handed over a ten-point plan to the city administration.
Freising – Anyone who was recently present at the handing over of the application for an improvement of the Lerchenfeld playground inevitably came to mind when the Grönemeyer song "Kinder an die Macht" came to mind. The reason: The extensive application was prepared and handed over to the city administration by those who also use the area: by the children themselves. This was made possible above all by the commitment of social pedagogue Meral Meindl, who launched the "Round Table of Child Participation" in 2020 together with the city youth welfare service and, in particular, initiated the district suitcase.
The district suitcase
In addition to documenting problems, the district suitcase enables a focus on direct participation: With this suitcase, the children go to specific places in order to take the first important step towards participation, so to speak, as necessary preparatory work for a possible application. In addition to the inspection, the group of girls also carried out surveys at the school afterwards in order to get a well-rounded overall picture of the problem, but also of the wishes.
(By the way: Everything from the region is now also available in our regular Freising newsletter.)
What the children noticed: Some things are broken at the playground, such as the fence. In addition, the basketball court is no longer recognizable as such and everything is unkempt and full of dirt. The motion then goes on to say: "If we had an improved adventure playground, more children would go to this playground. Then we could go out more, play more games with friends." Her urgent wish: to have her own retreat where she can meet up with friends.
The Ten Points
The girls have listed ten points that could make the adventure playground attractive again – including a flying fox, a picnic area, outdoor fitness equipment, a barefoot path and a new basketball and soccer field. The application was handed over to city councillor and youth officer Nico Heitz. As Meindl said when asked by the FT, "something happened quickly", because there was already a week after the application was handed over the first feedback from the city administration. Some things, according to Meindl, are feasible, while others are not. Individual wishes still need to be discussed further.
At the most recent symposium in the rooms of the city youth welfare service, there was also a lively discussion on the topic of "Participation of children - How can we further develop the participation of children at the municipal level?" After the keynote speech "Actively implementing participation rights!" by Cornelia Scharf, Managing Director of the Children's Commission of the City of Nuremberg, the participants, including specialists, members of the administration and providers of daycare centers, for example, were able to deepen their knowledge of special topics in various workshops.
When asked by the FT, Meindl summed up what is probably the most important summary: "Structures are simply important, but also responsibilities – and the political will must be there." Incidentally, the symposium took place on the day of the Basic Law - not by chance, as Meindl emphasized. "Children's rights have long been part of it," says Meindl, who would also like to see kids get involved in the city centre area. There is no room for the children there.
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
What she could also imagine: an opening of the schoolyards, for example on weekends. Then the kids could meet there in a safe public place.