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AHA improves the health and well-being of Wake County residents by facilitating and supporting community initiatives.

New National Guidelines to Bring Nature Play to Communities

NLI guidelines photoThe National Wildlife Federation and AHA partner Natural Learning Initiative (NLI)  released Nature Play & Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage this month.  The guidelines define nature play places, explain how to plan, design, and manage them, and how to bring them to children and families in every community.

The guidelines draw from principal author Robin Moore’s extensive landscape design experience, case studies of 12 existing nature play areas across the country, and the contributions from the members of a national steering committee and a technical advisory committee, which consisted of representatives from more than 20 national organizations. The project was funded by the US Forest Service.

Nature Play & Learning Places is a tool for those who manage areas where children gather, including park and recreation professionals, educators, urban planners, and developers. The guidelines explain how to design a nature play and learning area and provide detailed descriptions of activity setting designs including entrances, pathways, plants, and permanent play structures. Guidance is also provided for managing soil, plants, and other natural elements at nature play areas, and for managing risk, including an eight-step risk management protocol.

12th Annual Design Institute

NLI will host the 12th Annual Design Institute Oct. 3-4 in Chapel Hill to provide participants with tools to develop spaces that encourage today’s “indoor children” to go outside and stay outside. Arboretum, botanical garden, zoo, nature center, park, public land, childcare center, school, and museum professionals will experience first hand how to make nature a part of children’s environments through plenary presentations and interactive workshops.
Information from the new guidelines will be shared as well. Agenda, details and registration information
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