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The Exploratory Landscape

Posted by: Emily Cauble


Wow! Can you believe it's mid August already... this summer has flown by and for many of you August means one thing. BACK. TO. SCHOOL. (kids groaning, parents cheering) in honor of our tots getting back to the grind, i wanted to share this amazing project.
The Exploratory Landscape is an exciting blend of natural elements, lush landscaping, and a variety of sensory experiences. Clint Horticulture transformed a tired, traditional playground into a natural oasis, designed to inspire creativity and sensory play for 2-5 year old children.
 The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) at Temple Emanu-El is an amazing preschool that incorporates all things natural into their curriculum. We were commissioned to design an outdoor, natural playground to encourage investigation, discovery, and love of nature. This has been, by far, my favorite project to date! 
Phase 1 of this project was completed in April 2013, and has now had one full year to mature and inspire children. The initial elements included a natural stream, a grassy berm with embankment slide, a natural sand pit with water pump for wet/dry sand play, re-construction of an existing deck for toy storage and dramatic play, and a creative play area/outdoor classroom. We kept two existing play structures (a swing set and climbing structure) and utilized large drifts of native/well adapted plantings to tie all elements together. The plantings provide an array of seasonal interest, as well as a natural habitat for insects, butterflies, birds. Strategic placement of moss boulders serve as teacher viewing areas, and allow supervision points throughout the playground.
Phase 2 will incorporate some other fun elements into the landscape so stay tuned to see what we come up with next!
 
A very special thanks to Temple Emanu-El, and the parents, teachers, and staff of the ECEC for allowing us to be a part of such an exciting project!
For more information on the ECEC click here
and here to see what the kids are up to in the garden
 
Check out Before and After photos by Launching the Slideshow! And share with you friends -
 
Cheers!
Emily 

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