Beech Creek has created and plans to add more outdoor spaces that nurture a child's sense of wonder, offer physical activities, provide fresh air, and encourage rich learning.
Nature Playce is a 2-acre nature playground that includes treehouses with a swinging bridge, a miniature zip line, giant birds nest, mud kitchen, stage and amphitheater with music area, wading pond, living willow huts, giant Lincoln Logs, and a rock mountain with a slide, among other play areas. Nature Playce also includes a sensory path and some components of the nature playground are specifically designed for ADA accessibility.
A nature playground is a natural play environment where children can explore and play with natural elements such as sand, water, wood and living plants. Nature playgrounds focus on creating settings to enable the type of play, most important to our youngest children: social play (pretending) and constructive play (building). Where students use their natural tendencies to become scientists, mathematicians, authors and illustrators, storytellers, artists, inventors, problem solvers, and thinkers.
“90 percent of what we have constructed for the playground is made out of natural materials or encourages the children to get closer to nature, to be experiencing nature, so it’s pretty different,” said Melinda Carmichael, associate director of Beech Creek Gardens.
As a society, we have largely become disconnected from the natural world. Botanical gardens have the potential to be places wherein that connection is re-established, benefiting the audience personally through a connection with nature, providing education and physical activity.
Logs O' Fun Playground
Logs O' Fun Playground is a small playground made out of logs and nestled in the shade inviting children to explore.
Children are welcome to jump, balance, run and crawl on the different sized logs. Other logs can be rearranged and used for building, sitting or playing games. The playground also includes a small swinging bridge and a netted climbing wall for children to enjoy!