Infusing Nature into the Everyday Spaces of Childhood - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)

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Research has found that children’s exposure to nature is beneficial to their academic, social, psychological, cognitive, and physical health. Explore evidence-based design best practices for outdoor play environments and trails that intentionally reconnect children with nature to support family fun, active lifestyles, and unique opportunities for learning. Case examples of playground naturalization and playful pathways will demonstrate innovative solutions to encourage multigenerational play and offer extended play value to visitors. A variety of tools and resources will be shared to assist with the planning and design process of creating innovative destinations that connect communities, encourage health promotion through play, and respond to our intuitive desire to engage with nature.

Hosted by ASLA's Children's Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network (PPN)

Learning objectives:

  • Outline the current research and benefits of naturalized play environments and playful pathway networks designed to engage children with nature.
  • Describe at least three best practices/considerations when intentionally designing nature into the everyday spaces of childhood.
  • Summarize two case study examples of naturalized play environments and playful pathways that have been designed to encourage active lifestyles for children, families, and communities.

Bill Patterson

Design Consultant

CR Studio Design

Bill Patterson has over 12 years of experience in creating outdoor play environments and currently serves as a Sales Director and Design Consultant for CR Studio Design. Bill consults with various professionals on designing outdoor play and recreational spaces that implement research-based best practices with innovative new design concepts in play and recreation. Bill worked with GameTime as a regional sales manager to assist rep agencies, covering 16 states, grow equipment sales by focusing on sales processes and accountability, best practices for selling, product knowledge and educational program training. He has presented CEU’s at the following state and city conferences: Arkansas, Chicago ASLA, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Potomac ASLA, and Texas. 

In addition, Bill is a certified trainer through Playcore providing CEU’s through IACET, LA CES, and AIA. 

Bill lives in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and their two children. He enjoys good cuisine, outdoor activities and is an avid sports fan.

Jennie Sumrell, M. Ed.

Community Outreach Director


Jennie worked in the field of childhood development and exceptional learning for nearly fifteen years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Learning from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a master’s certificate in Adaptive & Assistive Technology from the University of Miami, and a Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Jennie has presented as a guest lecturer at universities and has presented at over 200 regional, state, national, and international conferences and play symposiums on a variety of topics surrounding inclusion, the developmental benefits of play, and aligning evidence-based research to creating high quality outdoor play and learning environments. 

Jennie joined PlayCore in 2008, and serves as the Community Outreach Director within PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research and Education to support research with our scholar network, create best practice programs to support play and recreation initiatives, provide continuing education through a variety of professional development events, and assist communities in advocating for environments which support the diverse needs of society. Deeply passionate about inclusive, multigenerational play, Jennie utilizes her expertise and personal experiences as a teacher to positively impact the development of innovative play and recreation destinations that focus on community health and wellness.


Video: Infusing Nature into the Everyday Spaces of Childhood - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)
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10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  7/10 points to pass Successful completion of this quiz is required to earn your PDH for this webinar.
8 Questions
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 PDH credit  |  Certificate available