Clarence Davids & Company is proud to announce that our work at Bernard Weinger Jewish Community Center in Northbrook, Illinois won a 2017 Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Excellence in Landscape Award.
The newly created natural playground replaced a traditional play space that consisted of plastic structures that no longer gave the students a unique play experience. The new playground is a natural space that offers a myriad of learning opportunities to the students, including topics such as science, music, reading, and horticulture. Some of the features include gardens, a science observation area, a dedicated space for music and movement, mud and sandpits, and wood stump seating for picnics and story time. The primary objective of the new space is to help enrich the children’s physical being, cognitive skills, and social and emotional aptitude.
The playground is divided into two sections based on the ages of the students. The area for the older children features a large sandpit where many kids can explore their creativity and play together. A wooden water runnel extends into the sandpit and provides an opportunity for the kids to watch water flow into the sand. A custom bridge enables the children to climb and see the space from a higher elevation. The custom playhouse is a popular space for kids to bake mud pies in the make-believe kitchen. Students can sit and relax in the bamboo sukkah or walk through the structure to get to the opposite side.
Furthermore, the area for the youngest kids includes two slides that are built into a fescue hill and a custom sandbox, which includes a cedar cover that folds back in order to create seating. Throughout the space, log steppers are arranged to encourage the kids to jump from one to the next. A council ring provides a space for instructors to teach class outside. During the lesson, students sit on the logs arranged in a semi-circle, which assists in creating a culture of participation.
The new, innovative playground is now a space where children can play and learn in a natural environment and inspires them to use their multiple senses and play with more vigor, engagement, and imagination. Check out the project photos below!