Shutting Down Parks, for Good & Bad

The release of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) new commercial ad couldn’t have been timed better. It writes itself into what I’d like to call a Tale of Two Shutdowns.

In national news, this past holiday weekend all beaches and public parks in the state of New Jersey were closed due to a government shutdown. In broad terms, the shutdown was a direct result of New Jersey Legislature’s failure to pass a budget by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year (articles further detailing the “why” filled complicated jargon can be found with a quick Google search if you wish to know more).

Long story short, on one of the busiest weekends for public parks, thousands of people had to find other ways to enjoy their long holiday break (except for NJ Governor, Chris Christie and his family, but that’s a whole ‘nother story…).


chris christie beach
The Governor and his fam’


Meanwhile across the pond…

A little over one month ago in Croatia, on European Day of Parks (May 24th), the largest park in the Croatian capital Zagreb – Maksimir Park – was marked as closed in a similar fashion. Much like New Jersey folk trying to chill at the beach this past weekend, many people who come to Maksimir for rest or recreation were caught by surprise -but for a much better reason.

This park shutdown was a publicity stunt executed by the WWF, which was accompanied by the following public statement: Nature doesn’t have time for you today.

Polls show the number one reason people don’t care for nature as they should is due to time. However, lack of time as an excuse is not acceptable. By symbolically closing down Maksimir Park, WWF wanted to show what would it look like if nature didn’t have time for us for a change.

By Tuesday, July 4th, the shutdown in New Jersey was lifted. And looks like by day’s end on European Day of Parks (May 24th), Maksimir Park was reopened to the public.

So now that we’ve been shut out by both, what’s worse? The government having no time for us or nature? Seems both are pretty scary and inconvenient…


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