Project Name: Kids Care Outdoor Discovery Area
Project Type: Day Care Playground/ Outdoor Classroom
Owner: Beaver Dam Community Hospital
Size: 15,000 Square Feet
Services Provided: Fund Raising/ Grant Writing, Site, Landscape and Playground Design, Landscape Installation and Construction Administration
Project Features: Custom designed natural playground including active motor trail, discover wall, musical stage, garden planters, active play structures, play stage, outdoor classroom, playhouses, water play area, obstacle course, tot and school age play structures within a learning landscape.
Green Highlights: Permeable pavers, bioswale/ rain garden, edible landscapes, custom natural play structures utilizing regionally harvested black locust, white oak, hickory and reclaimed woods, green roof, eco-friendly wood treatment.
Description: Remember the excitement of taking your first footsteps across a fallen log in the woods, or the achievement of climbing your first tree? How about building a fort or digging for worms. Nurturing with nature is so critical for development and discovery. These are the core values that Kids Care develops inside and outside of their early education classrooms.
The Outdoor Discovery Area at Kids Care is a fist of its kind natural playground. By integrating nature within the play environment, children and staff have the opportunity to integrate with natural materials within a controlled urban environment. McKay worked hand-in-hand with staff and students to fund raise, design and install this custom outdoor learning center, focusing on health, active and sustainable practices. The array of active and passive play elements offers a variety of enrichment opportunities as well as fun for the sake of having fun. McKay employed the craftsmen at Greener Roofs and Gardens. It was here that the sculptural and natural wonder of the space truly came alive!
After over thirty years, it was this project that reminded me how wonderful it was to think like a child again. It is the simplest elements of nature that help us laugh, learn and discover.