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Planning, building and making new spaces is super fun and a great way to engage people. After the build is over, then what? Reasons to activate a space:

  • keep it looking good

  • let folks know it is there 

  • let folks know WHAT is in the space

  • why is the space unique to that property

  • use the space to teach a curriculum

  • what cool things can folks learn from the space

  • how can the space be used

At nature+play designs, we are just as excited to help you learn how to use the outdoor spaces to promote play, learning and well-being, as we are in helping get the features in the ground. Learn about the different ways we can support you and your team.

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Tie your outdoor features to curricula goals

Kids in Vegetable Farm

School gardens

Engaging students, staff and families with hands on gardens

Jumping in the Leaves

Play & Enjoy

To support physical activities and wellness

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Partner programs

Lots of great ideas to share from other agencies

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Supporting ecosystem functions for healthy earth and wildlife

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Learn about resources to help learn, grow and enjoy the outdoors



Calming areas - Places to sit in small groups or individual can provide a place of refuge when feeling stressed:

  • Benches - buddy, conversational groups, individual quite spots

  • Gardens - visiting areas with diverse plantings provide a calming setting and a beautiful view

  • Paths - a variety of path systems to meet multiple goals for de-escalation, exercise and conversations

  • Retreats - create a space special for your users to take a break from the rest of the action to calm and regroup

Working gardens - The use of gardens to support various physical, cognitive and emotional goals can be very successful, such as horticultural therapies:

  • Exercise - gross motor and strength building

  • Cognitive support- engaging in fine motor activities support goals

  • Paths - a variety of path systems to meet multiple goals for de-escalation, exercise and conversations

Play - Active and passive play are incredibly beneficial to people of all ages, especially children :

  • Active play structures - working with vendors in the playground industry to design accessible structures to meet needs of all children

  • Passive & Imagination play - create a variety of natural play elements for imagination play to build, manipulate and create

  • Games - a variety of field and pavement play features

  • Social / Behavioral regulation goals - layout out features to support team building, social connections and behavior calming

  • Loose parts play - develop a kit of materials to use in school play areas, including natural and fun elements inspired to let kids create and build

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