University of Minnesota

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Nature-Based Play

The University of Minnesota Child Development Center’s goal was to emphasize a connection to nature and present opportunities for ecological education through the course of their daily routines and classes. The nature-based playground is rooted in a plant pallete of sensory focused plants, such as the peeling bark of a river birch or the flowing movement of native prairie grasses. All play elementes are designed to address critical age-specific physical developmental benchmarks. The design evolved with teachers and administrators through a collaborative process, the playground momements often were recommendations directly from the users, these comoponents include large and small log-jams, hill slides, climbing timbers, monkey-bars, a water pump, sand play area, race-track, and pollinator garden. Amongst these dispersed play elements are pathways, boulders, and essential shade trees.

Client: University of Minnesota
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Collaborator: Damon Farber
Completed: 2017
Photography:: Christopher Sticha
Jonathan Blaseg