Publication of the U.S. National Guidelines on Nature Play and Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage with Nature (2014) provides a tool for landscape architects to join forces with community activists to advocate, promote, and execute play and learning places, where children can authentically engage with nature. The growing number of examples on the ground range from inexpensive, open access areas in municipal parks to protected spaces in nature centers and other nonformal education institutions. Upfront unit area costs vary greatly as do approaches to activity programming, management, and day-to-day maintenance. New approaches to risk management are evolving. Successful implementation is supported by locally grown policy combined with community participation in development.
Become conversant with the intent and contents of the U.S. National Guidelines, Nature Play and Learning Places.
Become aware of research supporting the benefits of human engagement with nature in terms of both individual and cultural development.
Appreciate the range of potential nature play and learning design interventions in urban contexts.
Understand the principles and methods of a behavioral approach to design of intergenerational, outdoor settings.