How do we design for play, learning, community and connection?
Learning by Nature employs an effective design—build strategy centered around people and place. Our process involves the client, contractor and designer at most steps of the design and construction. This integrative approach allows us to be sensitive to the specific needs of your site, budget, audience, volunteers and materials every step of the way. This personalized integrative process makes the work to design and create your Playscape and Music Park collaborative, fun and stress free. We are with you throughout the entire process.
Where to begin? Depending on size and scope of your vision, consultations occur by phone, web conferencing or on site. In this stage we talk about your needs, wants, must and must nots. We dialogue about budget, space, and determine a timeline for your project.
- Discuss goals and considerations for installing and developing a Music Park, Natural Playscape, Learning Landscape and Gardens.
- Discuss preferences and participant needs.
- Assess space opportunities and possible limitations.
- Review community engagement and possible collaborations.
- Consider budget and offer guidance for raising funds where necessary.
2. Participatory Design
In this stage, we will draft designs for your space with input from your community. By inviting the users and administrators of a site to design a unique play or learning space, you create effective and sustainable ownership, pride and engagement. We’ll consider options for a Natural Outdoor Playscape, Music Park or combination in consideration of any preexisting structures or equipment.
- Engage community and stakeholders in your project (as little or as much as desired).
- Inform what to include in your placemaking site plan.
- Raise awareness and support of your project.
- Create a sustainable outdoor space for all ages and abilities.
Our design—build process assures your hard-earned project dollars go into your Natural Playscape and Music Park features and installation rather than an expensive architectural rendering. Learning By Nature creates and provides a base map and sketch, budget and timeline that will take the project from fruition to completion.
Our efficient design build process …
- Incorporates concepts generated by participatory design process and preliminary discussions.
- Efficiently integrates preexisting landscape features, play structures and local lore where possible.
- Sources local material and local contractors where feasible.
- Collaborates with volunteer labor and uses donated material as requested and when feasible.
- Provides detailed architectural renderings and engineered drawings by licensed professionals on an as needed basis.
4. Project Management
Our project management services help keep you informed yet not overworked! We assure the Playspace and Music Park design and features you so carefully chose are installed to meet your expectations, safety requirements and budget.
- Help to gain enthusiastic administration approval.
- Assure your playspace meets CPSC playground safety standards where needed.
- Schedule and secure a qualified installation crew.
- Manage purchasing and on-site and construction.
- Seamlessly integrate natural play features and commercial play structures as desired.
From brainstorming to ribbon cutting, budgeting to construction—we help get your creative space, playscape or learning space sprouted and growing!
You worked hard to thoughtfully design and create your special space, what next? In addition to enjoying time with friends, family, visitors and co-workers, be sure to try these tips:
- Explore our resources on the Learning by Nature blog.
- Take time to continue community engagement strategies with celebrations throughout the year.
- Host a concert or improv show at your new Music Park.
- Notify the press of the many benefits your new landmark playspace provides to your constituents.
- Download standards-based lessons to engage students in learning inside and outside the classroom walls.
- Train staff to facilitate outdoor play and learning experiences with an onsite Learning by Nature workshop.
- Make a goal to enjoy your new space frequently; a daily dose of healthy nature play.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
—George Bernard Shaw