Friday, April 11, 2014

Natural Playscapes

Last year I was approached by a friend for my permission to use one of my pictures on an interpretive sign as part of a nature playground in Clark's Reservation State Park in New York. This was the first time I had ever been approached to use my pictures professionally, so it was truly exciting and a great honor.

The sign that used my picture of a sub-alpine fir
immature pine cone (top right). Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

That natural playground is now complete and the interpretive signs are up and all I have to say is that they are beautiful. My friend and past classmate, Elisabeth Holmes, did an amazing job with designing the plaques and sculpting fossils within the cement walkway.  I can't wait to make it back to see them in person.

The playground itself is chock-full of awesome interpretive signs and nature-based play structures. Nature playscapes are a great alternative to the mundane, over-used plastic and metal playground equipment. The idea of playgrounds is a sound foundation, for children of all ages need to be active outside. Plus, with the rise of electronics, there is a growing culture concern about young generations losing touch with nature. Natural playgrounds and playscapes meld the desire to have designated play areas in a natural setting. They aren't as good as playing in the woods, but they are far better than a cookie-cutter slide and swings from The Home Depot.

Below you will find more pictures of the Clark's Reservation State Park modified natural playground. It isn't a full-blown naturescape, but it is a brilliant attempt step to connect younger generations with nature.

The natural playground at Clark's Reservation State Park.
Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

Fossil imprints. Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

Friend otter. Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

A climbing course/tunnel with one of the interpretive poles.
Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

One of the interpretive poles. Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

A climbing wall with a interpretive pole. Photo by: Elisabeth Holmes

No comments:

Post a Comment