Sunday, March 28, 2010

Belvedere to Help Co-sponsor Workshop and Public Talk: “Design for Health” With Nature and Play

Is it important for children to play unsupervised in nature?

Can we design play spaces that encourage freedom to roam in residential neighborhoods, community parks, schools, and childcare centers?

What are the child health and developmental costs of not doing this?

How can nature play contribute to learning, community identity, and growth of social capital?

Come find out at a public talk and workshop by landscape architect and nature-based educator Robin Moore and other staff of the Natural Learning Initiative.

Designing Natural Play Spaces for Healthy Children and Planet, Saturday, April 24, 2010 will teach about approaches to better children’s health through designing natural play spaces.

Moore’s public talk, Free Range Nature Play: Designing for Healthy Development of Children and Planet is scheduled for Friday, April 23, 2010. Both events are being held at the Mountaintop Montessori School, 305 Rolkin Rd., Charlottesville, VA 29911.

Play and learning in natural settings stimulates all aspects and stages of child development. Moore’s research shows that play in nature:

· encourages imagination and creativity,

· fosters language and collaborative skills,

· reduces or eliminates bullying,

· stimulates social interaction between children, and

· children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.

Study after study about the impact of play in nature show significant increases in:

· problem-solving, science and math skills,

· standardized test scores and ecological awareness,

· self-esteem and motivation,

· concentration, delay in gratification and more.

Moore’s approach is interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional, inviting people of all ages to be in nature, especially children. His 40 years of experience has benefited childcare centers, schools, residential neighborhoods, and community facilities such as parks, museums, zoos and botanical gardens.

Families, community members, teachers, landscape and garden designers, developers and administrators of health and educational programs of all kinds should attend these events. Inspiring presentations in the morning will show activities and designs for children of different ages in different settings. Afternoon activities will teach design principles and their application in a hands-on activity. Several participants are bringing actual park plans to improve their community and schoolyards.

Fees are $10 for the public talk, and $25 for the workshop if you preregister (includes lunch). Call Ryan DeRose for more information, 434-960-4082, or go to You can also become a sponsor and have a display about your school, business or program. Rates are reasonable!

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