Our vision is that Nature at the Confluence will be a nature-based, public open space dedicated to making City Center’s historic confluence of the Rock River and Turtle Creek a place of gathering, exploration, recreation, learning, and inspiration for people for all ages and abilities.
One of the goals of the space is that it would include opportunities for natural play. Learn more about the importance of connecting youth with their natural world through play at Children and Nature.
We share this article about a new “nature-based playground” that will be built in Midland, Michigan.
November 29, 2014 – Railway Family Center receives funding for ‘nature-based playground – From the Midland Daily News – Midland, MI – Read original story
The movement from traditional playground structures to nature-based outdoor environments for children has been gaining momentum over the past decade across the country. With new research on environment, childhood obesity, horticultural therapy, participation rates, bullying, injury rates and more, these play spaces offer an inclusive alternative to traditional playgrounds.
A nature playground has plants that are native to North America. All flowers, trees, shrubs and fallen logs are designed to bring nature in and provide children a space to play and learn. Birds nesting in the trees, bugs in the logs, and worms in the compost allow for endless teaching opportunities in this outdoor classroom. In these type of playgrounds children gain respect for their environment and understand their place in it.
These play spaces have no minimum fitness level, allowing children to participate rather than watch from the sidelines. They are designated to be inclusive, for every child regardless of ability. And, they present opportunities for children to increase their fitness level through natural play in a natural setting.
“Natural playgrounds are inviting, not intimidating; suggestive, not prescriptive; inclusive, not exclusive, and open to all who want to explore their own imagination,” Janks said.
From the Midland Daily News – Midland, MI – Read whole story
Learn more at http://www.childrenandnature.org/