Inspired by a fantastic and creative play structure at a wine country music and art festival, we created this collection of natural play structures examples and ideas. Trees, especially trees like those magnificent beautiful historic trees at Flood Park, can continue to provide pleasure and use for many decades after their natural life ends. A nature teaching aid for new generations of our community.
Nature’s Ever Giving Cycle
The Whale Rock & Art Festival in the vineyards at Castroso Cellars near Paso Robles had an inspiration when and ancient oak fell. They had a landscape artist apply his creative talent to assemble a wonderful play structure. The kids love it. It is like nature’s answer to Disneyland. It has nooks, crannies, tunnels, unexplored crevices, climbing branches and it is full of totally engaged children exploring and enjoying!
Great too because natural wood is known for naturally cleaner surfaces than modern plastic and painted metal structures. Allowing our historic trees to continue giving, decades after they have lived, is a wonderful experience for kids and a unique creative learning environment for our park.
Inspiring Play Structure @ Whale Rock Music Festival
More ideas for play structures
Thanks to the local community for providing photos of other natural play structures. Also to those on the internet that posted many of these examples. Some commercial companies provide products and services for the creation of natural play structures, including Natural Playgrounds and Park n Play, from which some photos are included here. An interesting link from the state of Maryland on nature play.
To preserve the historic trees at Flood Park, action is needed. Below are a few ways, more ideas for action are on our Action webpage.
Please promote better county/city policies
When we lose a tree to natural causes, or any cause, it does not mean the end to what that tree can still continue to give to our community and the environment. Fallen trees are needed to support all sorts of wildlife. They are part of nature’s cycle and as such, continue to contribute to the natural environment. Also an important teaching aid for teachers and parents for kids.
Please support polices that engage landscape artists to save fallen trees for use as natural play structures and elements of the natural environment.
San Mateo Parks manager Nicholas Calderon and Supervisor Warren Slocum are aware of our effort and have responded favorably. With our voice, County can adopt policies that require review of fallen trees in all parks, for consideration as conversion to play structures.