Swim Pony’s Aqua Marooned! at Bartram’s Garden
Aqua Marooned! has arrived at Bartram’s Garden! Grab a deck for FREE at the Welcome Center and experience the Garden as you’ve never before with this dynamic and engaging outdoor card game.
Aqua Marooned! is a card game created by Philly-based immersive experience company Swim Pony that encourages humor and emotional connection with the flora and fauna of the Lenapehoking region. Bartram’s Garden is one of 20 different regional environmental centers where it premiered at this spring; each location is connected to the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) and has its own unique, location-specific card deck.
How to Play
Though Aqua Marooned! takes inspiration from traditional party games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, this card game isn’t one meant to be played sitting at a table indoors. The game’s beautifully-illustrated cards cast players in groups of three or more as extraterrestrial explorers sent to explore earth’s mysterious “watersphere”, i.e. at your participating AWE nature center, park, or wildlife refuge.
Using vibrant pictures of plants, animals, and the environment, players are sent on a “mission” that playfully invites players to call on their powers of observation, inventiveness, or wit. Card challenges include things that ask players to get creative (Find a dead thing and give it a heartfelt eulogy. Most heartfelt wins.), use their bodies (Race to the nearest body of water), and reflect on the natural world (Define what “nature” is and is not). Though suitable for ages 12 and up, the game is aimed specifically at teens and adults.
Aqua Marooned!’s cards are designed especially for the 23 Centers in the AWE Alliance but can also be played anywhere one finds the outdoors. In addition to the core deck of cards, 20 participating AWE sites have developed expansion decks featuring additional missions that can be folded into the basic game with content unique to their sites. Swim Pony has also developed a super-sized Lenape expansion deck, created in collaboration with a circle of local Lenape advisors, to give players an opportunity to delve into the Indigenous perspectives on the land as well. For more information about where to find the game or the outreach events programmed for this fall visit the Lenapehoking~Watershed website, Facebook, or Instagram for dates, times, and locations.
Aqua Marooned! at Bartram’s Garden
Visit the Garden’s Welcome Center, open every day 9AM-4PM, to grab your FREE Bartram’s Garden Aqua Marooned! deck and start your journey. Swim Pony will also be at the first 2022 Family Outdoor Movie Night at the Garden on Friday, June 24, 2022, with decks and more information about the game.
Aqua Marooned! was conceived by Adrienne Mackey, founder and artistic director of Swim Pony, an experience design company that develops innovative, immersive experiences of play. During the course of its three-year development, the company collaborated with illustrator/graphic designers Meg Lemieur and Bri Barton, co-writer Brad Wrenn, representatives from 19 different AWE Centers, and a Lenni-Lenape Advisory Circle led by Trinity Norwood, Project Advisor for the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation.
More about Lenapehoking~Watershed Art Project: The L~W Art Project is a wide-ranging, multifaceted art project that wants to introduce Lenapehoking residents to their watershed. A program of the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE), this initiative winds its way through the landscapes and waterways of the Delaware River Watershed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Aqua Marooned! is one of two innovative and completely unique artist-driven projects activating the AWE environmental education centers as part of Lenapehoking~Watershed. The other is Water Spirit, a series of plant-based sculptures by Sarah Kavage that serve as focal points for events and community gatherings. The name, “Lenapehoking~Watershed, a place for water, art and culture” was chosen after consulting with citizens of our local Lenni Lenape Nations. “Lenapehoking” is a place name that means “the land of the Lenape people.” Foremost, as this is an initiative about the land and the water, the L~W team acknowledges Indigenous cultures’ environmental stewardship as critical. Lenapehoking~Watershed offers multiple opportunities for inspiration, refreshment, and learning. Encouraging others to discover new things, meet new people at outdoor cultural gatherings, and enjoy solitary meditations on art and nature.
Lead support for the Lenapehoking~Watershed is provided by the William Penn Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Barra Foundation, the Delaware Division for the Arts, the Joseph Robert Foundation, and the Velocity Fund.
About Alliance for Watershed Education: The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River is a regional initiative of twenty-three partnering environmental education centers that is funded and supported by the William Penn Foundation. Each of these centers is located along the Circuit Trail or a major connecting trail, and on waterways throughout the Delaware River Watershed in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Through joint programming like the annual River Days events, and shared best practices, the centers aim to increase their collective impact within the watershed and its communities.