Natural Playscape


Natural Playscape

Taking full advantage of the campus topography, the natural playscape winds, creeps, and sneaks around and in-between buildings. Perched on the top of the hill, the cafeteria has vistas out to the playscape and natural grass kickball field, giving students something to look forward to as they finish their lunch.
Bethany School's playscape, built from trees removed during construction, challenges kids beyond the static manufactured play equipment. The playscape teaches the younger generation about the importance of re-use and re-purposing. It allows for natural processes to take over, so kids actually play in nature, helping with balance, resiliency, imagination and exploration skills.
Originally concerned about increased risk for injury, Bethany School's nurse has seen a significant decrease in visits to her clinic during recess. Climbing logs, natural benches, a willow tunnel, a slide down the natural hillside, log and stump staircases, and wooden lookouts allow kids to spread out and find their own interactive play space, with fewer restrictions and prescribed play.
Filled with native plants and trees, the natural playscape is also a hub of life for insects, birds, and small mammals. This encourages the children who play to be learners of the natural world, increasing their mindfulness and curiosity about the planet and its creatures.

Climbing logs

Natural benches

Willow tunnel

Slide down the natural hillside

Log and stump staircases

Wooden lookouts

Bethany School
Glendale, Ohio
year completed
Project contact
christie boron
project manager
513 841 3092