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Naturalized Playgrounds and Unstructured Play in Delta

Apr 15, 2016

Delta looks to #BringBackPlay through the creation of naturalized playgrounds and unstructured play.


Playgrounds are a significant part of any childhood. Whether you were mimicking lightsaber duels or creatively climbing over aged wood to avoid the “lava” below, many of us remember playgrounds as the place where we tested our physical limits, pushed our comfort zones, and learned that scraped knees healed and that grass stains come out in the wash.These playgrounds and parks are where community thrives and friendships are solidified. Through the creation of naturalized playgrounds and an emphasis on unstructured play, the Corporation of Delta is looking to remove our kids from the screens and sterilized play environments they’ve become accustomed to and reintroduce a sense of adventure and genuine fun into their lives.   

For years, we’ve constructed smooth plastic fortresses of safety that direct how children should play and did little to inspire sprawling narratives, daring escapes, and frankly, a sense of risk. Through unstructured play, we’re looking to encourage physical and personal growth in our children by allowing them to assess situations, take chances, run, jump, climb, and make decisions based on their natural environment. Based on the research presented to the Corporation of Delta, naturalized playgrounds and unstructured play allows children the opportunity to develop their coordination, balance, and agility, improve their awareness, reasoning and observational skills, all while increasing their concentration and their self-discipline. 

In light of these benefits, Delta has created incentives for the introduction of natural play spaces, including professional landscape architecture services for design development and project costing, and an increase in Delta’s potential financial contribution. Through this investment, Delta is reiterating the importance of our parks to the development of our community. Our parks serve as public focal points and are social hubs in which we cultivate our community relationships. Hopefully, this initiative, alongside a genuine desire to strengthen our children’s cognitive and motor abilities, while reaffirming our connection to one another and our community, will favour an increase in the stories our children imagine and the friendships they develop. 

One of the best ways to learn is through our mistakes. Natural play spaces allows our children to discover consequences in the name of fun. Besides, nothing great ever happened without a little risk. Let’s #BringBackPlay.