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Benefits of Becoming a National Demonstration Site

By March 16, 2023No Comments
A banner promoting becoming a National Demonstration Site for Hawaii Parks

Before we get into the Benefits of Becoming a National Demonstration Site, we want to go over some key aspects of what it really means to be a model site for Nature Grounds. So, we’ve broken this blog down into three pieces:

  1. What is NatureGrounds and what is it about?
  2. Positive Impact of NatureGrounds Best Practices.
  3. Benefits of Becoming a National Demonstration Site


What is NatureGrounds and What is it About?

NatureGrounds is an innovative playground development process that utilizes deliberate design to put nature back into children’s lives. Incorporating nature into play benefits children in their individual growth as well as their neighborhood’s development by engaging communities to work together in order to create more enriching play environments for all.

PlayCore partnered with the Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University to provide an educational resource designed to help professional and community activists promote naturalized playgrounds. Along with a vast selection of resources for designing and retrofitting playgrounds, NatureGround’s comprehensive program includes:

  • a 48-page guidebook for best practice design principles for park and school playgrounds
  • research materials to support the benefits of nature
  • planting principles and phased naturalization strategies
  • tips on how to manage, maintain, fund, and support your project

In short, NatureGrounds advocates for communities to create innovative play environments that integrate manufactured play equipment and the living landscape.


Positive Impact of NatureGrounds’ Best Practices

As an initiative to “Bring Nature to People,” NatureGrounds’ Best Practice guidelines result in playground designs that:

  • increase play value, social engagement, and physical activity.
  • address health promotion, stress reduction, and emotional well-being.
  • expand inclusion.
  • engage users with nature.
  • reinforce environmental literacy.
  • promote creative, exploratory, and cooperative play.
  • offer community destinations.
  • support environmental stewardship.

All of these results contribute to children and other community groups experiencing more enjoyment (and benefits) of playgrounds. According to studies conducted by the Natural Learning Initiative, playgrounds designed with NatureGrounds’ Best Practices attract “multigenerational, multicultural users seeking family recreation experiences,” allowing for children and their families to bond with one another through explorative play.


Benefits of Becoming a National Demonstration Site

NatureGrounds’ recommends 5 Best Practice Design Principles to implement in your playground in order to stimulate, motivate, and encourage children’s play while increasing the attraction of playgrounds for children and their caregivers. Click here to learn more about building a nature play space that qualifies to be a National Demonstration Site for Nature Play Design so you can:

  • Promote your leadership through best practice principles that integrate nature into the everyday spaces of childhood (new or retrofit).
  • Collaborate with program partners and document the process for others to replicate.
  • Create positive attention and attract partners/funds that support healthy lifestyle initiatives.
  • Gain national awareness through various media outlets, press releases, collateral materials, and nationwide presentations.
  • Receive letter of recognition signage for serving as a model recognition site.


Looking for Inspiration for your Nature Play Design? Click here to view GameTime’s Nature-Themed playground equipment and be sure to reach out to the InspiredPlay Hawai’i team if you have any questions!