Children’s Outdoor Environments: Annual Meeting Highlights

The 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans image: Lisa Horne
The 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans
image: Lisa Horne

It was another great year for the Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network (PPN) at the ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans with a special guest speaker as the keynote of the PPN meeting.

Professor Lolly Tai as meeting keynote image: Lisa Horne
Professor Lolly Tai as meeting keynote
image: Lisa Horne

Annual PPN Meeting

The meeting started with a short summary of the year for the PPN, including ten blog posts on The Field and four Online Learning webinars providing content on engaging youth in place making and integrating sensory processing disorders with outdoor play environments. The PPN LinkedIn group has continued to grow over the past year and now includes more than 800 members. Chad Kennedy, PLA, ASLA, CPSI, LEED AP BD+C, transitioned from current to past co-chair with the announcement that Brenna Castro, PLA, ASLA, CPSI, is the incoming co-chair and will guide the leadership team with current co-chair Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, Affiliate ASLA, OTR/L, SCEM, CAPS, FAOTA.

Professor Lolly Tai discusses design considerations for children’s gardens image: Lisa Horne
Professor Lolly Tai discusses design considerations for children’s gardens
image: Lisa Horne

Professor Lolly Tai, PhD, RLA, FASLA, provided the special guest keynote entitled “Children’s Gardens: Design Features and Goals” with an overview of two case studies on public children’s gardens from her forthcoming book The Magic of Children’s Gardens: Inspiring Through Creative Design. The overview of the Enchanted Woods at Winterthur Museum and the Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden at the Naples Botanical Garden gave designers an in-depth look at creative programming and site design to create meaningful play spaces for children. A key finding is that the design considerations of scale, use of the five senses, water, heights, retreat and enclosure, creative play, active play, make believe, plants, and wildlife provide a foundation for successful children’s gardens.

Sessions Related to Children’s Outdoor Environments

A previous post put together a guide on sessions that were related to children’s outdoor environments at the conference. Each one has a link to a session guide if you would like to learn more about the topic or presenters. Some sessions were recorded and are now posted on the ASLA Online Learning website.

Lisa Horne, PLA, LEEP AP BD+C, is a project director at RVi in Dallas, Texas, and past co-chair of the ASLA Children’s Outdoor Environment Professional Practice Network. She may be reached at lhorne (at) rviplanning.com.

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