Exclusive Joe Rohde Interview Happy Anniversary Earth Day
Today to help celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, we have an exclusive Joe Rohde interview about this very special day along with his view of how now more than ever the role of STEM and STEAM education in the classrooms show be taking It doesn’t seem possible that more than 50 years have gone by since that first celebration occurred to recognize and pay tribute to this magnificent place
that we call home and while many things have changed over the past 53 years, sometimes it seems as though time has stood still. When it comes to paying tribute to the planet, Disney has always led the way, and one of the most important voices for educating us all is the incomparable Joe Rohde.
From the creation and bringing the vision of Disney’s Animal Kingdom to life to introducing us all to an unparalleled education about the Earth around us, Joe’s visions have brought the love of Earth and nature to thousands of guests each and every year around the world. This Earth Month, we look to nature to bring hope and inspiration during these unprecedented times. Throughout April, we will be sharing the Magic of Nature with you and your family, unifying Disney fans and animal lovers, and inspiring environmental stewards to celebrate and draw magic from the incredible world around us but today is for celebrating the anniversary of Earth Day and seeing how far we’ve come, and yes, looking at how far we still have to go.
Conservation and protecting the environment is an important priority across Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, and Disney Parks are proud to put this philosophy into practice every day in the work that they do. From taking care of thousands of animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and across Walt Disney World Resort, to conserving water resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste across our business, they are constantly working to not only share but protect the magic of nature.
On this anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, we encourage you to take a moment to pause and reflect on our brilliant planet, appreciating all of its natural wonders. Whether it is learning something new about animals and ecosystems through Disney Magic Moments and NatGeo@Home, or simply admiring the world around us, we can all be inspired by our planet. And to help inspire this wonder and magic. One of the best ways to take in all of the magic of nature is with a new series @DrMarkAtDisney on Instagram. Here you can get the answers t questions and curiosities about wildlife and the environment.
It seems like it was just yesterday that I had the opportunity to sit down for an exclusive interview with Joe Rohde on Earth Day and talk to him not just about bringing Disney’s Animal Kingdom to life but something we are both passionate about and that is the importance of STEM education in the classroom.
In the unique times that we face today, it is sad to see more and more disappear from our classroom curriculum when the truth is that now more than ever, we need to be giving our students the opportunities to express themselves creatively, to think outside the box and to allow them to think, create, dream, imagine and explore and during our conversation together I was able to have Joe speak to that and so much more.
“When we, Imagineers, started the development of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we knew that we were entering a new territory of storytelling. These stories were not fantasies, but real. They were not classic tales, but ongoing epics whose conclusions are still unknown.
They were not ours alone but shared with people all around the world, who lived with and cared about the lives of wild creatures. We could not tell such stories unless we ourselves participated in the reality we were describing, contributed to the epic struggle, and shared our skills and our commitment with people around the world. Thus, we concluded that an entity like the Disney Conservation Fund was essential to our story. Without it, our own words and actions would be empty.
The story of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Disney Conservation Fund is not just a story that we tell. It’s a story we are living every day, every one of us. All of us on Earth share this planet with every living creature and with the systems that sustain them. For two decades now, through the actions of the Disney Conservation Fund, we’ve worked towards our dream: a dream of a future for our children in which there is still magic in the forest, the magic that comes from the countless miraculous creatures, some yet undiscovered, that share with us a tiny delicate place amidst a sea of distant stars.” — Joe Rohde, Creative Executive, Disney Imagineering. Giving back is easy to do and such an important yet easy thing to teach to the generations to come. How do you teach your children to give back and save the planet one animal at a time?
Today as we celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, Disney is at the forefront when it comes to recognizing the important role that nature plays to ignite joy during these unprecedented times.
All month, we will be joining with our friends at Disney and other organizations around the world to share the Magic of Nature to inspire hope and share educational information about this extraordinary planet we inhabit. Disney is also celebrating over 30 years of dedicated Disney Parks’ environmental and sustainability initiatives, implementing programs in support of waste and emissions reduction and water and resource conservation. Disney is continually exploring, testing, and implementing new ways to turn things we see and do every day into sustainable experiences.
These efforts have led to incredible progress towards conserving natural resources – protecting the magic of nature for the future of our business, community, and the planet.
This year also marks a special year for several anniversaries for The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) is proudly celebrating 25 wonderful years of supporting nonprofit organizations globally in their efforts to save wildlife, inspire action, and protect the planet.
The Walt Disney Company is also celebrating one year since welcoming National Geographic into the Disney family. National Geographic launched NatGeo@Home to support families and caregivers during the COVID-19 crisis. The hub is home to free educational resources and content to help parents and educators keep kids engaged while schools are closed, including an exciting neighborhood safari.
The Earth Day Neighborhood Safari invites families to design their own “safari stop” with resources available on NatGeo@Home, complete with lessons from Disney Animation, Pixar and Marvel Studios on how to draw your favorite safari animal. National Geographic is collecting a feed of “safari art” on NatGeo@Home to help bring neighborhoods all over the world together.
Today and every day, we celebrate the wonders of the earth, and on this day, we recognize how the magic of nature can bring us all together during the times when we need it most.
Throughout the Disney Parks across the globe, they have continuously enacted efforts to celebrate this planet that we all call home. Want to bring home the magic of Earth Day to your home? Here’s a fun and easy craft you can make with your family today and years from now, you’ll look back on this and the memories you created to make Earth Day every day for you and your loved ones. How will you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year?
Earth Day Seed Starter Gardens
One of my student’s favorite activities this time of year is planting and working in our classroom garden. There is no better way to give students an appreciation and love for science and the art of gardening than by teaching them just how easy it is for them to bring it to life themselves. Now you can bring home this same passion and instill it into your family and teach the art of gardening with our paper roll seed starter. In fact, it’s so quick and easy, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done this before. Let’s get started:
Box/crate (We used a wooden tangerine crate)
20 Paper rolls
Mini Popsicle Sticks
-At the bottom of each roll, make two ¾ inch cuts across from each, then one cut in the center of each of the halves you created. So basically, you divide the bottom of each roll into four equal parts.
-Fold the 4 flaps as you would fold the flaps of a moving box.
-Fill each paper roll with potting mix and align them in your box/crate.
-Using your pen write the names of the plants on the mini popsicle sticks.
-Put in your seeds, one plant per roll and water.
-Insert the popsicle sticks in their designated areas.
-Put your Seed Starter Kit near a light source to allow it to grow until your garden is ready to receive the plants.
-When you’re ready to move your seedlings outdoors, simply unfold the bottom and plant the whole thing in the ground. The cardboard will decompose into the soil.
DON’T FORGET TO WATER THEM REGULARLY! Now that you’ve seen for yourself just how easy it is to teach the art of gardening with our paper roll seed starter and watched it come to life for yourself, what will you grow next? How will you celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year?