Play & Park Structures is pleased to announce the first-of-its-kind NatureGrounds® program, which enables children, families, and communities to experience the many benefits of playing in nature. The program was developed in partnership with PlayCore and the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI, www.naturalearning.org), a design and assistance program of the College of Design at North Carolina State University.
NatureGrounds®: Putting Nature Into Play™ provides best practice guidelines for creating and retrofitting play environments that integrate manufactured play equipment and the living landscape. These naturalization strategies offer a new, alternative paradigm for the playground industry, responding directly to the need for children to be outdoors engaging with nature.
The purpose of NatureGrounds is to create a dramatic shift in the standard playground development process by deliberately designing nature back into children’s lives, not only to benefit children’s play but also to engage communities in working together to create richer play experience for all users.
The NatureGrounds program is beneficial for:
- Health: Exposure to nature has proven to reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder and feelings of stress.
- Social: Naturalization provides broader inclusion of people of all abilities and increases social interaction.
- Learning / Cognitive: Natural elements provide hands on experiences and opportunities to bring classroom learning outdoors, while stimulating different forms of play.
- Environmental Stewardship: Increasing children's awareness of the environment at a young age helps them develop into environmentally-conscious adults.
- Physical Activity: Naturalized play spaces motivate children to move more and engage in play for longer periods of time.
The NatureGrounds Guidebook
Your local Play & Park Structures representative can provide the NatureGrounds Guidebook where you will find:
- Research: Describing the benefits of bringing nature onto the playground.
- Guidance: On naturalization best practices for new and existing play spaces.
- Tips: For selecting, preserving, and integrating live plant materials on your playground.
Learn how to implement best practice principals and how your playground can become a model NatureGrounds Demonstration Site, bringing positive national recognition to your organization.
Online Searchable Plant Database
Our unique plant selection database specifies the play value of child-friendly plants for your region and planting zone. Visit naturegrounds.org/plantsearch
Funding Your NatureGrounds Project
Your Play & Park Structures representative can provide recommendations of grants and funding sources available for naturalized play spaces.
Contact Play & Park Structures today to get started!