stepping stumps

Information Session Highlights Natural Playgrounds

More than two dozen Wildwood Elementary School staff, community leaders, and volunteers gathered at Wildwood School Jan. 8 for a presentation on natural playgrounds and the benefits they offer over conventional play structures.

Ron and Ethan King of the Natural Playgrounds Company provided examples of natural playgrounds, presented research on how the affect children, and answered questions from audience members.

Mahtomedi Schools recently decided  to incorporate a natural playground theme into the outdoor facilities at the new Wildwood School, which is under construction at the intersection of Stillwater Rd. and Jamaca Ave.

MAGI member Jeanne Zlonis, who attended the meeting, said the presenters described a number of benefits of natural playgrounds including providing interesting and challenging activities for children of all ages and offering a connection with seasons, growth, and the naturual world. They also answered questions from the audience related to topics such as safety and maintenance.

Next step: The Wildwood School playground committee will meet this week to discuss moving forward with a site-specific plan for the site. We welcome your thoughts! Please add them to our comment section below.

Photo courtesy of USFWS via Flickr – Creative Commons