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WHAT IS A PLAYSCAPE?

Think of a Playscape as a big,beautiful, natural park with open spaces, trees, rocks, hills and water...where you are free to roam about and enjoy natural surroundings in your own neighborhood as part of daily life.

A Playscape allows children to experience unstructured play in a natural environment. In the Miller Ecological Park Playscape there will be a creek to play in, natural boulders and sand, mounds and hills to run on, sensory gardens, log balance beams and steps, and tunnels ..and more.  The Playscape will allow children to experience nature with their family and other children in a safe and secure environment that is accessible to everyone. 

Providing children with the opportunity to connect with nature is an important component of their development. 

A Playscape also provides educational opportunities for local children to learn about the history of the area and in the environment in which they live.

Miller Ecological Park Playscape: Some program elements

Balance Beam: The Balance Beam would consist of natural materials such as a log to balance on or a steel post held in place on either end with a tree stump. The balance beam area would have rocks around it delineating the area from the adjacent meadow.

Seating Area: The Seating Area is located next to the raingarden for educational purposes. Perhaps a class would meet here to discuss the raingarden and permeable pavement. The seating area would consist of boulders to sit on located in a circular pattern.

 Amphitheater: The amphitheater would consist of a seating area with a stage for performances. The amphitheater would be made out of concrete or stone.

 Tunnel under Mound: The tunnel would be a 4’ wide tunnel located underneath a meadow mound. The tunnel is large enough such that an adult could get into the tunnel. The tunnel goes in and out of the mound. A meadow would be planted on top of the mound to discourage children from playing on top of this mound.

 Climbing Wall:   A climbing wall would be located at the same mound as the tunnel. Meadow plantings would be planted on top to discourage children from playing on top of this mound. There would also be a natural planted barrier at the top of the climbing wall to aid in safety. The climbing wall would be about 6’ tall at the highest point. A soft safety surface would also be introduced at the bottom of the wall for safety. At the top of the wall would be a 4’ landing spot.

Proposed Wooded Area:  The proposed wooded area would be comprised of shade trees that would create an overhead tree canopy. These trees would provide an area to play that would resemble playing in the woods. Several play areas would be carved into the wooded area for play. A log fort which would consist of tree limbs and twigs where children can help build a fort, a sand area where children can play with sand, an earth area where children can play with dirt, and a stick building area where children can play with sticks to build things.  There would be a little pathway that would connect each building area through ‘the woods’.

Play Mounds and Sledding Hill: The aesthetic play mounds and sledding hill are meant to be play hills for children to run up and down, roll down, play king of the mountain, and go sledding on in the winter time.

Thinking Tree: The thinking tree is a large deciduous shade tree that is by itself in the grass. It is meant to be a large tree for a child to go sit under and read a book or write in a journal.

Lawn Area: The lawn areas on the playscape are meant for children to throw a Frisbee, play ball, have a picnic, and run around.