We cannot wait until the official opening of Silver Falls natural play area scheduled for June 2014. We are anticipating heavy traffic and exciting reactions once parents and children see this unique play area.
Two years in the making and two separate installations went into the creation of this animal themed area. The Cougar, Bear and Bird areas are themed with information related to each animal that children can interpret and emulate during imaginative play time. Architect Michelle Mathis, previously with Greenworks at the time of creation, and now the owner of Learning Landscapes, was a constant resource for creativity and execution of this project. All of the State Parks staff were instrumental in providing natural resources such as huge logs for the totems and climbing features, down to the smallest of peeler logs for fence rails.
In November, Stephanie Morgan spoke on behalf of G.R. Morgan with members of ORPA at a conference regarding natural play environments. It was very well attended and issues involving liability, design, financial investment and long term use were all discussed. You can find out more about what is happening with natural play all over Oregon at the Oregon natural play initiative (ONPlay) blog http://oregonplay.wordpress.com.