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children's built environments


children's built environments

Accessing 'nearby nature' often means improving the environments that children spend a majority of their time in....daycares, schools, neighborhood parks etc. Please help us share ideas, stories, and images of inspiring children's facilities.

Members: 101
Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2016

inspiring photos wanted!

Please post pictures of your inspiring nature play areas!

Discussion Forum

Can a playground be too safe? 6 Replies

Can a playground be too safe? This question was posed in the New York Times, which noted that some researchers are questioning the value of "safety-first" playgrounds. “Children need to encounter…Continue

Tags: Play, Safety, Playground, Playgrounds

Started by Suz Lipman. Last reply by Ida Castillo Nov 24, 2014.

Water in playgrounds-information needed! 1 Reply

Hi all,So I'm embarking on an exciting but rather challenging project in the local City Park that will use iconic Florida landscapes (either recreated or symbolic) to allow families to play and…Continue

Tags: costs, design, playground, water

Started by Meghan Cox Mick. Last reply by Suz Lipman Mar 5, 2013.

How did your 2012 Let's G.O. (Get Outside) event go?!

We're so excited to hear about your April events! Please join the Let's G.O.! (Get Outside) group and post your stories and photos.Haven't heard of Let's G.O.! yet? It's not too late!Everyone can…Continue

Started by Daniella (Donna) Drader Apr 17, 2012.

Free Green Schoolyard Webinar Tomorrow: March 27th

Hi everyone,On Tuesday, March 27th (tomorrow!), from 7:30-8:30pm EST, I’ll be giving a webinar presentation for Green Teacher Magazine, based in Toronto, Canada, and I thought the topic might…Continue

Started by Sharon Danks Mar 26, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Daniel Raven-Ellison on February 20, 2010 at 8:04am
I'm one part of a group called The Geography Collective. We're interested in finding ways to encourage/help children to explore and sense the world in new ways. We're just about to launch a book called MISSION:EXPLORE which consists of over 100 'mission based activities' - some are fun, others tackle issues of (in)justice but they all relate to exploration of place/space in some way. We will be launching an online map of missions in the summer too. The focus of our work - which includes safety education - is on making use of (un)familiar public and in some cases encouraging young people to engage to in the politics of these spaces (by contacting local government to challenge how play space is managed for example). Here are a few fun examples that you might like. Do take a look at http://www.missionexplore.co.uk and let me know what you think - equally if you can see any synergy with your work it would be great to be in touch.

Comment by Chris Catterton on February 17, 2010 at 10:24am
Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for asking . . . our school is in Essex Junction, Vermont. We have been fundraising for a year and are just about to hire a team to help us design our playground. Our project is a real community effort, as our school sits in the heart of our Village and we hope it will be enjoyed by all. We are planning a community design night and we will be partnering with our local Tech Center to help move earth, build some play elements and help with landscaping. Our current school yard is just large, open space, no trees except around the perimeter, with a typical play structure in the middle. Pretty much an open slate -- we are VERY excited to be getting to the design phase. I'll keep you posted; we should have a real plan, on paper, by May!
Comment by Elizabeth Renton on February 16, 2010 at 8:52am
Hi Chris! Thanks for joining us! Where is your elementary school located? Do you have a plan for your nature playground yet? If so we'd love to see it and hear about your planning experiences! Do you have any tips and pointers you'd like to share?
Comment by Chris Catterton on February 16, 2010 at 8:45am
Thank you to Suz Lipman for directing me here. I am happy to find such great networks forming around the issue of connecting children to nature. Our elementary school is the planning phase of building a natural playground. I look forward to reading more comments below . . . what a great resource!
Comment by Suz Lipman on February 8, 2010 at 2:32pm
Cynthia, I was just going to point you and this group to one another. Glad you found each other. I love your project!
Comment by Cynthia Gentry on February 6, 2010 at 4:21pm

When you've seen a child's drawing inspire an architect to greatness, you know the truth: kids are play experts if given half a chance. This is why Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Taskforce on Play (ATOP) are joining together to put on PLAYABLE 2010: INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION.

PLAYABLE KIDS is the first phase of the competition and where we're asking kids to draw pictures of what fun and play feel like and look like to them. The deadline is February 26, 2010, so we hope you'll get your children involved soon! The drawings will be presented to the architects, industrial designers, landscape architects, artists, etc. who enter the grownup phase of the competition. Just as the architect in the treehouse above (Amy Leathers, Lord-Aeck & Sargent, Atlanta) took her cue from Michael's drawing, so will our new competitors.

Please encourage any children you know to enter PLAYABLE KIDS! It will be fun and they'll be able to have an effect on the future of play.
Comment by amy pertschuk on November 17, 2009 at 3:10pm
Very inspiring. Did you see the "Parks We Love" page on her site? Wish they had links too. Like...where is this?

Comment by Avery Cleary on November 17, 2009 at 3:03pm
Wanted to share an inspiring playground restoration project happening
in Richmond, CA. The park is in one of the poorest neighborhoods with
abandoned houses surrounding it. What Toody Maher is doing
to engage the local community to revitalize not only the park, but the
neighorhood is truly inspirational. She is leading an incredible process
to empower the people who live near the park. This link will take you to
the community planning process page.

Comment by Elaine Gibson on October 31, 2009 at 9:22am
At the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, we are turning 4 acres of oak woodland and a creek into a natural place for learning. Our Backyard is a built environment where kids can have unstructured time in a natural setting and it is working! Parents feel safe and kids appreciate the elements of risk. The only problem we have is when it's time to leave -- the kids refuse. This will be a model in our community of what is possible.

Comment by Elizabeth Renton on October 30, 2009 at 1:30pm

Nancy Herron just passed this to me...the Wooten Nature Play Area in Austin is a great example of collaboration amongst many groups for the benefit of the entire community. I hope this becomes a prototype that is eagerly replicated around the city. I'll try to find some construction photos...exciting project! Good job Austin CINC!

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