“Free play provides children the opportunity to move at their own pace, discover their favorite spaces, engage with other children and practice important life skills such as negotiation, teamwork, and risk management," noted, Kim Niemer, Director of Community Services for the City of Redding.
Chattanooga, TN (PRWEB) January 24, 2018
PlayCore, the leading company in play and recreation research, programming, and products, has awarded 95 National Demonstration Site awards to playgrounds and parks across the country in 2017.
PlayCore has partnered with leading experts, scholars, and universities in the creation of best practices, which are documented in program guides, to assist with the design, execution, programming, and measuring outcomes of play and recreation spaces.
PlayCore’s National Demonstration Site program recognizes communities that follow the best practices outlined in the research and resources from their esteemed scholar network. These programs are centered around five distinct areas: youth fitness, adult fitness, inclusive play, nature play, and creating family-friendly playful pathways. These communities build play and/or recreation environments following this scholarly research to help ensure their spaces provide the best setting to promote healthy activity, community engagement, and community capital. Every National Demonstration Site awarded features a variety of play, fitness, and/or natural components that promote engagement and fun throughout the communities.
National Demonstration Sites are awarded in five categories:
The Play On! Program was created in partnership with PlayCore and SHAPE America to introduce active play opportunities on the playground. Each Play On! Structure features six key elements of play designed to promote physical activity including balancing, brachiating, swinging, climbing, sliding, and spinning.
Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks are solutions for increasing physical activity and social engagement in communities. The National Demonstration Site Designation is given to parks that align their equipment with the four identified areas of a well-rounded workout: cardio, muscle, core, and balance/flexibility. “We are excited to be working closely with so many communities to advance health and recreation opportunities with this initiative” said Anne-Marie Spencer, PlayCore’s Corporate VP of Marketing.
Inclusive playgrounds are designed to uniquely align with Me2: The 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design, an evidence based design philosophy developed in partnership with PlayCore and Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities. The program is the only research-based resource that aligns specific play principles to the environment in order to create a multigenerational designation that breaks down physical and social barriers.
Pathways for Play is for excellence in infusing play into pathway networks to encourage active lifestyles for children, families, and communities. PlayCore has partnered with the Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University, to help professional and community activists promote playful pathways across our nation. Each site features themed, nature-centered play opportunities (i.e. Bugs, flora & fauna, habitats) that engage family members of all ages along a trail.
NatureGrounds focuses on providing a play environment that integrates manufactured play equipment with the living landscape. This program was also created in partnership with the Natural Learning Initiative to help professional and community activists promote naturalized playgrounds. Naturalized playgrounds feature play areas that utilize existing topography such as trees, shrubs and grasses, and are shown through research to get children and families to the highest levels of use.
PlayCore has been able to help many communities build amazing play and recreation spaces around the world, like the Kids Kingdom Playground in Redding, CA.
Kim Niemer, Director of Community Services for the City of Redding, noted, “Free play provides children the opportunity to move at their own pace, discover their favorite spaces, engage with other children and practice important life skills such as negotiation, teamwork, and risk management. The Kids Kingdom design models this in every way. Plenty of good reasons for parents to say – Go Outside and Play! We look forward to welcoming families here for many more generations.”
As a National Demonstration Site the playground or park receive a sign at the project location to inform visitors about the designation, a certificate of recognition, use of the National Demonstration Site Seal in all materials advertising the location, is added to the national registry, and is promoted actively to other communities looking to offer in inclusion, physical activity, adult outdoor fitness, and nature best practices. In addition, we have an updated NDS map location on our site.
Communities interested in building a National Demonstration Site, and would like to understand more about recognizing their community’s best practice effort, can contact PlayCore through their website or by direct email to info(at)playcore(dot)com
PlayCore is a purpose driven Company committed to building stronger communities around the world by advancing play and recreation. The company infuses scholarly learning, through its Center for Outreach, Research, and Education, into its comprehensive family of brands. PlayCore combines best-in-class educational programming with the most comprehensive portfolio of play and recreation products and services to create tailored solutions that match the unique needs of each community served. Learn more at http://www.playcore.com.