Nature playscape emerges on the campus of Trees For Tomorrow
EAGLE RIVER – A recent collaboration between Trees For Tomorrow (TFT) and Lumberjack RC&D resulted in an outdoor nature playscape nestled in the heart of Eagle River on the TFT campus. The playscape is open to the public from dawn until dusk and is located just inside the tree line on the TFT demonstration trail on the west side of campus.
“The elements of the nature playscape were designed and hand-constructed by our staff,” said Robin Ginner, TFT executive director. “We harvested all of the natural materials from around our campus and included features that entice children to build, dig, climb and explore in an age-appropriate manner.”
The new playscape will be an integral hands-on component for children attending the new KinderWild Camp, a nature-based program for kids ages 3-5 which is a combination of classroom and outdoor learning on Fridays through mid-December.
The playscape was installed in late summer of 2020 and its natural elements include stepping stumps, balance elements, story circle, nature “TV,” rock labyrinth, timber pyramid for climbing, a tree teepee, and seating for adults, all contained in a fenced area to allow children to explore in a safe, contained area. It’s the only nature playscape in the Eagle River area and is located along the demonstration trail system on the Trees For Tomorrow campus.
This playscape offers a number of benefits, including allowing children to learn using what their natural instincts call for, such as exploration, experimentation and play, Ginner said, noting that children also develop balance and advanced motor skills as they navigate the natural landscape. “At Trees For Tomorrow we believe that the best learning happens when students – regardless of age – are allowed to get out and explore in nature. This is critical for children living in increasingly indoor and technology-connected lives. Their childhoods should be filled with adventurous experiences exploring the great outdoors,” Ginner said.
For more information on KinderWild Camp or Trees For Tomorrow, visit treesfortomorrow.com.