PlayCore, the leading company in play and recreation research, programming, and products, recently awarded its NatureGrounds National Demonstration Site Award to a brand new NatureGrounds park, The Bright School, in Chattanooga, TN.
PlayCore has partnered with the Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University, to help professional and community activists promote naturalized playgrounds. The site features a play area that utilizes existing topography such as trees, shrubs and grasses. The multiple benefits of a NatureGrounds playground include: play value, child development, health benefits, and environmental sustainability.
Studies in the U.S. show that schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based experiential education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language arts, and math. Students in outdoor science programs improved their science testing scores by 27% (American Institutes for Research, 2005).
Naturalized playgrounds have become sought out destinations that provide visual interest, shade, and comfort resulting in sustained repeat visits, a relaxed and playful social atmosphere, and growth of community social capital. These well-designed playgrounds offer rich outdoor education and programming opportunities for both schools and parks. The site will receive certification, become part of a national registry, and is promoted actively to other communities wishing to offer appropriate display of natural play environments to help share best practices.
The new National Demonstration Site will be listed on the National NatureGrounds locator. To receive a copy of the NatureGrounds educational guidebook, visit our Nature Play solutions page.