Annual Meeting Highlights

As the keynote, Lois Brink explains strategies to locate funding for schoolyard gardens image: Lisa Horne
As the keynote, Lois Brink explains strategies to locate funding for schoolyard gardens
image: Lisa Horne

It was a noteworthy year for the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Denver, with record-breaking meeting attendance and stirring presentations. Highlights and links to session notes are below.

Annual PPN Meeting

With well over 35 participants, the annual meeting broke PPN records for attendance. The meeting started with a call for more volunteers to join the leadership team and kicked off with three PechaKucha-style presentations by Joy Kuebler, John McConkey, and Alison Kelly. Topics ranged from pop-up parks to pilot studies on play spaces addressing developmental disorders to schoolyard gardens. Lois Brink, a founder of Learning Landscapes in Denver, gave the keynote with an original perspective on funding for schoolyards.

Alison Kelly discusses how schoolyard gardens teach children about food and nutrition  image: Julie Johnson
Alison Kelly discusses how schoolyard gardens teach children about food and nutrition
image: Julie Johnson
Joy Kuebler (left) describes pop-up play and its impact image: Lisa Horne
Joy Kuebler (left) describes pop-up play and its impact
image: Lisa Horne

Field Session: Denver’s Schoolyard Learning Landscapes

Since 2012, Denver elementary schools now boast 96 learning landscapes. The $50 million redevelopment project is one of four nationally. This field session included four elementary schoolyard sites across Denver.

Notes can be downloaded here.

John McConkey educates on sensory disorders and research at the STAR Center image: Lisa Horne
John McConkey educates on sensory disorders and research at the STAR Center
image: Lisa Horne

Education Sessions

Evidence-Based Design: Pilot Study of Children with Developmental Disorders

John McConkey with Landscape Structures and Lucy Miller with The STAR Center Foundation described how sensory playgrounds and sensory gardens can benefit children with development disorders. Discussion centered on the study at the STAR Center and broader applications. Lucy Miller also recently published Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder.

Notes can be downloaded here.

Playful Cities: Kids and Design in Urban Environments

This panel for landscape architects, city planners, and advisers delved into play space design within an urban context. Case studies included Central Park and the Boulder Civic Area Master Plan.

Notes can be downloaded here.

Playing by the Rules: Making Artful, Innovation Playgrounds that Meet Standards

Daniel Jost moderated this lively presentation and discussion on creative play spaces that meet CPSI and ADA requirements. Christopher Nolan, Marc Hacker, and Matthew Urbanski presented projects and concepts that were noteworthy in their ability to create or renovate play spaces and achieve compliance. The closing discussion from the audience was also vigorous.

Notes can be downloaded here.

Ensuring Sustained Value in Therapeutic Gardens and Children’s Landscapes

This presentation, which was jointly submitted by the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN and the Healthcare & Therapeutic Design PPN, explored steps and techniques to ensure sustained value in therapeutic gardens and children’s landscapes. Marni Barnes, Jena Jauchius, Daniel Winterbottom, and Jack Carman joined the discussion of how these meticulously designed spaces can be especially vulnerable if appropriate short- and long-term maintenance are missing.

Notes can be downloaded here.

The Wilds: Integrating Natural Systems and Outdoor Learning Environments

The education session examined four case studies of Marin County Day School, Marin Academy, Nueva School, and Mark Day School. With Jamie Phillips, Emily Bello, and Alice Moore, the discussion focused on curriculum approach, community, and curiosity.

Notes can be downloaded here.

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

2 thoughts on “Annual Meeting Highlights

  1. Sheree August 19, 2015 / 3:57 am

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