Children’s Outdoor Environments: Annual Meeting Preview

image: Lisa Horne
image: Lisa Horne

Fall weather is finally here and we are excited to convene in Boston for the ASLA Annual Meeting next month. This year’s Meeting features several educational sessions and networking events of particular interest to members of the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN.

Field Session: Outdoor Classrooms Designed for Learning

Ticketed Event: Tickets Must Be Purchased in Advance
Friday, November 15, 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Kristin Metz, Kaki Martin, Clara Batchelor, Phoebe Beierle, David Warner

“Nature-deficit disorder” from children spending too little time outdoors has been well-documented. The Boston Schoolyard Initiative, in partnership with the city government, is an innovative model that brings nature right to urban school doors. This session visits three secure “outdoor classrooms” in diverse Boston neighborhoods.

Education Session: Playing It Too Safe?

Friday, November 15, 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Philip Howard, Julian Richter, Harry Harbottle, Jane Clark Chermayeff

Are playgrounds today giving children what they need? This panel for landscape architects, project managers, and advisers will balance risk and safety in planning play spaces and consider how play environments have changed in the 21st century, from both the European and American practitioners’ perspectives.

PPN Networking Reception

Ticketed Event: Tickets Must Be Purchased in Advance
Friday, November 15, 5:15 – 7:15 PM

Meet with the Children’s Outdoor Environments Co-Chairs and other members of the PPN. Make connections, share stories, and join the conversation.

General Session: Biophilic Design: People and Nature in the Modern World

Sunday, November 17, 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Dr. Stephen R. Kellert

Our connection to the natural world is part of our biological inheritance. Dr. Stephen R. Kellert, a pioneer in biophilia, will set forth an account of nature’s powerful influence on the quality of our lives. Weaving scientific findings together with personal experiences and perspectives, Dr. Kellert explores how our humanity is deeply contingent on the quality of our connections to the natural world. He is the Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. An award-winning author, educator, and environmental scientist, Dr. Kellert has written more than 150 books and articles and has also completed a 60-minute documentary video, “Biophilic Design: the Architecture of Life.”

PPN Meeting: Children’s Outdoor Environments

Sponsored by Playguard Safety Surfacing
Sunday, November 17, 3:15 – 4:00 PM

Come to the PPN meeting room for brief highlights on the year ahead. Bring your warm gear and head out with the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN for a short walking tour of the award-winning Plaza at the Boston Children’s Museum designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

Education Session: Re-Imaging the Schoolyard: Innovative Design Ideas for Outdoor Learning

Monday, November 18, 1:30 – 3:00 PM
Kaki Martin, Ross Miller, Kristin Metz

A pioneer in educational schoolyard design, the Boston Schoolyard Initiative has developed outdoor classrooms that go far beyond an amphitheater or ring of stones. Explore design principles used to create rich, vibrant green spaces for experiential learning on school grounds even in dense urban areas.

by Lisa Horne, Co-Chair of the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN

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