Outdoor Gyms

Fitness Zone™: Belvedere Park, Los Angelesimage: Trust for Public Land
Fitness Zone™: Belvedere Park, Los Angeles
image: Trust for Public Land

Over the years our municipality has taken out outdoor fitness courses or seen them severely underutilized. Could it be because of our weather here in Colorado? Perhaps, but maybe this new effort to design attractive and unique fitness solutions specific to outdoor parks will reopen opportunities to provide this sort of service in our parks. I am particularly intrigued by the City Art Gym information posted in this article.

‘Fitness parks’ catch on in cities
by Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY, December 14, 2012

City Art Gym

HORIZONS: On the move with Fitness Zones
Trust for Public Lands, February 12, 2012

Playground Sun Safety

Waterpark Ranch, Los Angeles California, SuperSpan Multi-Level Pyramid
Waterpark Ranch, Los Angeles California, SuperSpan Multi-Level Pyramid
image: USA Shade & Fabric Structures, Inc

Landscape architects and designers are constantly faced with the challenge of designing safe and attractive play areas. One particularly important aspect is the need for shade and weather protection. The importance of adding shade to playgrounds has come to the forefront as daycare owners and playground designers realize the importance of sun protection, especially for children who are particularly susceptible to the sun’s damaging effects.

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New Resources for Inviting Nature Back into Play

A play stream at the Nature Play Area and Discovery Garden at Minnesota’s Tamarack Nature Center
A play stream at the Nature Play Area and Discovery Garden at Minnesota’s Tamarack Nature Center
image: MIG, Inc

Climbing into the arms of a sweet smelling southern magnolia tree, splashing in the miniature waterfalls of a limestone lined creek, and sifting through a playground of pea gravel in search of ancient sea fossils are a few of my treasured memories of enjoying the freedom to explore the natural world that surrounded me as a child.

Due to shifting societal priorities, children today have fewer opportunities to engage in these types of open-ended activities than their parents did just a generation ago. In his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods”, Richard Louv draws on decades of research from various disciplines and summarizes that, due to this trend, kids in the U.S. are suffering from what he terms “nature-deficit disorder.”

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