This section has been organized as an examination of the varying considerations

This section has been organized as an examination of

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This section has been organized as an examination of the varying considerations necessary in playground development. A. Environmental Integration B. Educational Process C. Cultural Heritage D. Therapeutic Value E. Age & Activity F. Imagination & Creativity G. Multipurpose Use & Integrated Design Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 26
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A. Environmental Integration as a Basis for Playground Development Ideology Children’s concern for the natural world is shaped through opportunities for direct contact with the environment. Urban children, especially, need to experience play in a landscape designed to meet those needs, and where they can explore and experience natural materials and cycles each day of their lives. Natural elements such as plants, water and wildlife have special attributes not provided by synthetic environments. Natural environments enable children to experience diversity, sensory variety and ever changing interaction, almost always best felt through unstructured play. The Natural Learning Initiative - Carolina State The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) is a research and development organization from Carolina State University. NLI’s mission is to help communities create places for the connection of people and the natural environment. Blanchie Carter Discovery Park, at Southern Pines Primary School is an example of how a previously desert-like expanse of gravel and play equipment (1996) was transformed into ecological habitats, a heritage village and a place for natural processes to take place. Designers from NLI created the playground as a community park focused on environmental issues. The park is not ‘beautified’ but restored to its natural ecological state. Activities include controlled fires for forest revitalization, native revegetation, accessible bird watching stations, and a wetland. Innovative Play Structures Research Project August, 2001 Page 27
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This project has been recognized as part of the National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Program. In addition, the entire park is designed to be accessible to children and adults of all ages and abilities. The Edible Schoolyard - Berkeley, California The Edible Schoolyard is a non-profit organization working with schools in Berkeley, California, to develop edible school grounds. Agriculture and gardening are some of the best means through which children learn to value not only food, but the process and environmental qualities required to produce it. The design of the edible playground garden at Martin Luther King Junior School was a five year process that involved children, chefs, teachers, parents, gardeners and landscape architects. The design and use of the garden was ultimately determined on site by students in collaboration with their gardening teacher. The garden is continually evolving as crops are rotated and beds are enlarged.
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