Denver Shifts Towards Natural Playgrounds
Those old playgrounds in some Denver parks might look a lot different in the coming years when they are replaced as the Parks and Recreation department is focusing on nature play options in its parks moving forward.
Natural playgrounds, made of recycled trees and boulders, have become a popular option over traditional playgrounds with slides, monkey bars and swings, and Denver Parks and Recreation has multiple natural playground projects planned.
“Studies show that when kids go to a traditional playground, they get bored quickly, whereas with nature play done well, kids stay longer and come back more frequently,” said Gordon Robertson, director of park planning for Denver Parks and Recreation..... click here to read more
The Wisdom of Water
THE WISDOM OF WATER: Reflections of an Outdoor Educator
A few years back I worked as a surf instructor, ocean lifeguard, and marine science teacher at YMCA Camp Surf in San Diego. It was a brief stint, just the spring season of March through May. But it was enough to make a big impact on me. Located on the south end of Silver Strand, San Diego, Camp Surf is a haven for students and staff alike. When you exit the streets of Imperial Beach and enter the gates of YMCA Camp Surf, you feel something wonderful happen to your body, mind, and spirit. On this camp’s property — the marsh, the dunes, the beach, the ocean — I have fond memories of teaching 12-year-olds about the water cycle by building sand castles on the beach and flooding them with buckets of water, or introducing them to the marine ecosystem flora by instructing them to find the biggest piece of kelp they could find and wrap it around their classmates’ shoulders like a feather boa. As instructors, we worked hard to give our students a safe, engaging and unforgettable ocean experience. Here’s a secret of the trade: it’s pretty hard to mess up a positive ocean experience. Just set up rules […] Read more
“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”