Discovery

A place to share our ideas, expertise, and lessons learned.

Natural Playscapes: Healthy Childhood Development through Exploratory Play

“They splash for slithering tadpoles, tip-toe to observe butterflies, and set up mini-track and field for beetles in the sand,” says Naturalist Lew Major. “They learn things about themselves that they don’t even know they’re learning and learn in ways traditional schools aren’t teaching.”   Major animatedly refers to the children experiencing the Jester Park Natural Playscape in Polk County, Iowa, USA.…

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FIVE Sustainable Site Practices:

Through integrated best management practices, we are striving to incorporate measures that reduce the amount of runoff and improve the water quality of every site. There are site and design practices that can assist in creating a more sustainable, regenerative environment, while utilizing a natural systems approach – one that mimicking the ecological systems of the tall grass prairie.…

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Shared Successes

Although counter to some trends, team locker room space can be optimized by sharing certain components.

The rise of dedicated competition and practice facilities for individual Division I and II collegiate sports has made the design of team locker rooms more straightforward.…

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Engaging Early Learning Interiors

An early learning center is not an elementary school. Early learning environments need to provide a warm, welcoming setting that reflects a home environment rather than an institutional or school environment. Yet the same place needs to provide support for the physical and emotional needs of young children during the 6-to-8 hours they spend there each weekday.…

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Ecological Design in Early Childhood Centers

Children do not simply grow, but evolve from nature into culture; therefore ecology should form the basis of design for both indoor and outdoor spaces in early child education centers. Through interaction with the natural environment, children become active participants in their own development.…

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