“...I’ve come to realize that the earth itself is a garden, and that we need all the help we can get caring for it.” These are some of the first words of Stefan van Norden’s quiet but powerful film, in which he explores our troubled relationship with nature and the urgent mission we have in reconnecting with it. As an actor — which is my field — you are always searching for your next “action,” what you can and must do to get what you need. With artful eloquence, ‘Negotiating with Nature’ shows us the beginning of a path, some of the first steps we must take in understanding, respecting and healing our garden.
—Jamie Horton, actor and teacher
"Thank you for the enlightening nature documentary. The part about children and the lack of interaction they have today with nature is particularly disturbing. The film is something everyone, both young and old, should see. Those of us fortunate enough to have grown up in rural New England know the importance of nature and the need to impart that knowledge on our younger generations. This documentary goes a long way towards that goal."
- Doug Rexford
"Wow, what a beautiful film, I found it quite moving. Thank you so much for making it. It was also special to see you in YOUR garden up on the hill. So beautiful and unique to you. I think about the nature here in the urban setting a lot, given my upbringing in NH. The parks in New York are truly amazing, and as I am getting older I find I am exploring them more and more. I think a lot about how to bring the natural experience more to people, especially children."
- Yari Bond
"BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO, and more! ‘Negotiating with Nature’ is a brilliant ecological documentary to educate and remind us all how magical our home planet is within the universe. To respect and enjoy the benefits derived from this remarkable world is such a gift. If we don't take care of this gift and the magic stops we will not have the proverbial creek to be caught up in, nor will there be trees left to make the proverbial paddle!! Who cares!? Let's find out. Many thanks for taking such time putting together an important educational reminder to us all. "
- Larry Doyle
"I am sitting here in my office having just watched ‘Negotiating With Nature’ on this late Sunday afternoon in early March. I am most impressed and, in fact, moved by what you have created. You took a most complex subject and approached it with such care and concern that the film becomes compelling and deeply human. The clips from your interviews add so very much to your exploration of this complex subject. Each person you interviewed gives the viewer a different vantage point from which to view this complex problem of man and his relationship to nature... Thank you for making me a modest part of this film. I am proud to be a part of it... Thank you for taking on this vast important subject and bringing it to people level, to back yard level, to shovel-in-hand level while still addressing the big questions. Congratulations."
- Gordon Hayward
“Immediately upon arriving home — and, yes, unpacking my groceries — I queued up ‘Negotiating with Nature’. You wanted to know what I thought? In short, incredible!”
- Galen Muskat
“I really love ‘Negotiating with Nature’. The message is so well aligned with my thoughts about nature. In some places, it felt as if the speaker was me talking. I also feel concerned that, increasingly, children aren’t able to spend unsupervised time outdoors as we did when we were young. The film presented the importance of this experience so effectively. I enjoyed listening to the NYC park commissioner speak and hearing his visions for bringing increased opportunities for New Yorkers to experience nature. The videography was wonderful, I enjoyed the variety of musical styles that were included, and the film was so beautifully put together.”
- Priscilla Hamilton