It all started around Children’s Day in 1992. The campaign was called “Playing in the city” in the courtyard of the leisure centre “Louise”. Jens Kalanke performed as the “city Indian”, and half a year later, he moved with a site caravan to the then school garden area behind 15th elementary and secondary school in today’s 2 Seifhennersdorfer Straße.
The youth welfare officer lived in a shack, later in a tipi and in winter above the horse stable. His young guests did handicrafts with wood, wire, fabric and clay and mainly minded the animals. For the longing of city children for nature, for their own world that they can create themselves used to be as great as it is today. The island of recreation in the middle of the busy city named itself after the story “Oh, how beautiful is PANAMA” by Janosch.
What started out with a horse expanded throughout the years to seventeen. Goats came along, sheep, cows, pot-bellied pigs, rabbits and guinea-pigs, cats, dogs, chicken and fish… When the society “Treberhilfe Dresden e.V.” took over the adventure playground as the organizing institution in 2008, the number of animals settled at a tolerable level. Four horses live here today, four goats and seven hens with their “rooster of the walk” Mr. Günther.
The open offer of support for children and youngsters addresses primarily the needs and wishes of the up to 40 girls and boys aged 6 to 16 years who come here every day. The employed social education workers as well as all the freelancers, trainees, volunteers and honorary volunteers always have a ready ear for their clients. The children love caressing and minding the animals, riding, sitting by the campfire or going on trips to camping sites during the school holidays.
The children still rant around here, they construct and do handicrafts with leather, clay, wool, wood and metal; they paint, learn, make pizza, practice circus tricks or walk the animals. Thus, they learn through play the rules of living together with other people, with animals and with their environment as well as handling tools. They get to know dangers as well as themselves and develop a healthy approach to taking risks.
The ASP PANAMA maintains cooperation with schools, after-school care and other institutions in the district. The playground is accessible to parents with their toddlers and respectful visitors during opening hours. Friends and sponsors are very welcome to become a keeper for the animals or to donate food and money.