Where they can climb, dig, build a shelter and crawl through tunnels... a place to explore, where unstructured play rules! The River Ramble Natural PlayScape is coming to St. Patrick's County Park in 2020!
We gathered ideas from park visitors and families in workshops and open houses, and here is the plan!
The play features will be themed on the St. Joseph River, a natural resource that defines our community. Kids can:
Features will be connected with an accessible path inviting children of all abilities to play. Families can gather in the pavilion, share a bench, or hang out in hammocks, too.
Create a shelter
Paddle a make-believe boat
Practice your balance in the Rock and Log Adventure area
Pump your own river
Scramble over a fish net
Crawl through a sycamore log
Dig in the sand
A growing body of research indicates active “free play” in natural settings boosts intellectual, emotional and social health. In addition, it provides an outlet for physical activity, which is often lacking in children who spend an average of 7 hours a day* in front of a screen. And it helps kids be better problem solvers as it boosts self-confidence. (*according to the CDC).
A natural playground was tied for the number one requested amenity during public input for St. Joseph County Parks Master Plan 2019-2023.