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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




Garden spaces to meet every need - There are so many great examples of gardens to meet a variety of needs and goals:

  • Vegetables- raised beds, ground level beds

  • Sensory & tactile - plants to touch, feel, smell, weave and enjoy

  • Butterflies - Butterflies and lady bugs are great introductions to children, so adding locally sourced flowering plants attract wildlife

  • Local ecosystem habitat - use native plants and materials to replicate native habitat (great for animals in their habitat studies)

  • Food forest - teaching kids where their food comes from can be a powerful lesson with easy to grown and maintain plants

  • Rock cycle garden - use native rocks/stones to demonstrate the rock cycle (igenious, sedimentary, metamorphic & plant with native rock garden plants)

  • Stormwater gardens - capture roof runoff into rain gardens, bioswales or wetland ecosystems

  • Experiential / Experimental gardens - create garden spaces that are actively used to test ideas and showcase creativity

  • Art gardens - create spaces with frames and display structures to showcase temporary and/or permanent area

  • Learning gardens - create features to showcase projects, units and activities for students, such as year-long change of seasons projects, weather observations, seasonal precipitation calculations, etc.

Garden programming - Learn how to use gardens throughout the year to meet curricula, horticultural therapy, social/emotional goals and more:

  • Stakeholder meetings - facilitate stakeholder discussions to determine a good fit for your school programming and features on the campus

  • Recess based programming- short activities to run at lunch recess to encourage use and exploration of the gardens

  • After school clubs - there are several options for after school clubs such as garden, environmental, STEM/STEAM clubs

  • Community work parties - scheduled events throughout the year to use and maintain the various garden areas

  • Community partners - network to meet partners who may be interested in supporting your garden features (donations, service days, events, etc.)

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