By Kay Walburger

Pancakes & Porpoises
Make Environmental Dreams Come True
While Raising Community Self-Esteem

Douglas Bader helps restore neighborhood ecology one block party at a time!Eureka, I have found it! I feel like I found the mother lode the day I met Doug Bader. He is a bonanza of golden visions, dreams and sustainable solutions for our own neighborhoods and communities.

None of the grimness and frustration often associated with a serious environmentalist, after years of public apathy, here in Doug's eyes. His eyes sparkle and dance with playful enthusiasm. Easy for him, he found his Porpoise!

Overwhelming problems and fears surrounding the immensity of the environmental mess our planet is facing have not escaped Doug's attention. To the contrary, as a scientist himself, he knows all too well the extent of the problems facing Mother Earth. He also knows fear, anger, frustration, and stress paralyze people with the mind-boggling enormity of this situation, leaving them to moan, "What can I do to help, I'm only one person." His answer?

"Dolphins and porpoises are the model for us humans," declares Doug. "Human spirits desire gathering together in almost primitive tribal and ritualistic celebrations with symbolic "breaking of bread" and "play with a purpose," that being namely, preserving or restoring the community environment. This in turn creates a diary of memories with the extended family. These new friendships can become lasting relationships and provide a precious sense of belonging and a feeling of safety that is self-esteeming and life-affirming!"

Video cameras running, pancakes sizzling on the hot griddle, balloons floating about the table and chairs, the neighbors come together for a day of play! Of all the games of the day, one of the two favorites of young and young of spirit is the "Dream and Porpoise" game designed by Doug Bader. This visionary game uses video, storyboard drawings and porpoise (dolphin) values to connect individuals and groups with their true life's purpose. The game has "silly" questions that tickle the fancy and add to the sense of fun. As children and adults answer questions they create a story - board, amazing messages are revealed regarding life's mission from the creative depths of their individual beingness, and so they find their "porpoise!"

"Porpoise," a play on the word purpose, visually links people to dolphin (porpoise) values of community. This global sea mammal, often seen frolicking in the waves, has a rich and mystical history with humankind. The dolphin phenomenon, recently fascinating us all, symbolizes enlightenment, healing, empathy and a passion for play which results in a model of compassionate communities, a realistic potential for our planet.

The second favorite game of the block party is the scavenger hunt with a twist! First, finding clues on flying disks leads searchers to envelopes full of questions about the environment. Their goal: to get answers from experts at the scene and collect points to win prizes. Video cams recording the hilarity and jubilation of the children and their families, document the seeds of success planted that day for sustainable relationship skills, environmental skills and economic skills.

Doug says, "Our mission is to create asset-based thinking within the community. That means every community needs a quality of life based on safety and access to opportunities. Our approach is unique because we demonstrate "the glass is half-full" as they look at their assets and resources which will help them individually and collectively satisfy their needs."

Doug Bader has been acknowledged for his stunning success record as he has cheered local neighborhoods (including "at risk" areas) to see and accept the positive possibilities to heal their own environment. He was one of twenty six to receive the 1996 AT&T Renew America Environmental Success Index Award!

"Trying to figure out "The System" made me angry, judgmental and feeling disconnected," confesses Doug. "Twelve years ago, I was so distracted by survival that even though I had achieved monetary success, I felt no one knew me and I knew no one! I was filled with hate for myself and others; I felt suicidal and depressed. It was an all time low point in my life. You subsc form here could say, I was part of the 'problem.' A misdirected genius is still a jerk, if you know what I mean."

"My personal desperation took me on a search for solutions to living a 'Quality Life' filled with a 'Global Vision for Humanity.' I was looking for hope on planet earth when it seemed there wasn't any," continues Doug, "so I looked to the natural universe."

Tedious year-long research led Doug at last to an Aboriginal tribe that has managed to exist in peace for at least 35,000 years (one of the few that hasn't killed itself off.)

"Excited by my find," recounts Doug, "I began to search for clues to the Ubamari's success. The connection, I believe, is a 35,000-year-old dolphin painting found etched on a cave wall in the tribe's Australian stomping grounds. The dolphin was a talisman for these earthy people. They connected the dolphins as a reference point and peaceful model for their community.

As they danced their 'Shallow Water Dance' they called the dolphins from the deep to help them with their fishing. By observing these animals they learned how to communicate and relate in harmony and established standards of virtue and morality for the longevity of their people. This was the singular most intelligent thing I've ever read," declares Doug, after his personal epiphany.

"I felt this enormous rush of hope," reminisces Doug. "If we mastered flight by the study of the birds, surely we could master peace by studying dolphins! Dolphins don't fear or kill one another. The secret to the dolphin is that they ask for help and communicate with curiosity. Could you imagine," inquires Doug. He believed children could, and for two years he traveled the country making "Dream and Porpoise" presentations to elementary school pupils and writing children's stories.

He returned home to Costa Mesa, California, the proud creator of "Script for a 90's Neighborhood Success Story," an award-winning Copley Colony Cable TV Program. "The children had indeed taught me how to accomplish my dreams of peace and harmony with the planet and its people - play was their answer. Play is the true antidote to stress and fear. Play with purpose can also teach valuable lessons about the total environment," noted Doug.

"The word 'eco' means house and house refers to self," says Doug. "Economics means "The House in Order." Ecology is the community (house) in order. Recycling is good economics, especially when the neighborhoods share all the aforementioned benefits and values expressed in this story. Doug Bader has a wealth of information on sustainable economics for anybody on earth.

Anybody's Earth Press was established by Doug in 1988 as a communication and social outreach project. Its purpose is to establish "A Bridge to the 21st Century" by creating sustainable relationship skills, environmental and economics on earth (by empowering others). Doug believes each one of us needs a free press to publish the story of our dreams for others to read and feel the connection - dreamer to dreamer.

Doug promotes "Event 4 Environment" such as neighborhood block parties that enlist the local environmental non-profit and governmental organization's support and resources. By this means, neighborhood by neighborhood participants create successful city-eco-goals. City by city, the county goals are met, etc.

This Earth Day, April 21, 1997, Doug has planned for a big, citywide neighborhood event. He offers a free video and coaching on how to set up your own Earth Day block party!

Call for a free video, information, ideas and resources. Contact Doug Bader, c/o The Hub of Newport-Mesa, A Global Neighborhood Involvement Center, 230 E. 17th St., #218, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Phone or FAX (714) 646-1128. Web address: .

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