I have had the honor of being a part of an amazing project in my community recently, and I could not be more proud of this endeavor. My dear friend came up with an idea to have a play area for children where they can explore nature in a safe environment and in collaboration with the Behringer Crawford Museum this dream became a reality. NaturePlay at BCM is a playground like no other where children of all ages and abilities can learn while they play, and the whole experience is free of charge. Tucked away behind the Behringer Crawford Museum in Devou Park is a play space where children can swoop along on a zipline swing, pretend to be pioneers in log cabins, spend time on a flat boat, learn about fossils, dig, climb, run, and even hide in a cave. Parents can sit back and let their children explore nature in a safe, contained area. There is no fee to explore NaturePlay at BCM and it’s open every day of the year from dawn until dusk. You need not be a member of the Behringer Crawford Museum to enjoy NaturePlay, but I highly recommend a visit to this amazing gem of a museum to learn more about the history of our area.
NaturePlay at BCM:
More Details about NaturePlay at BCM:
The native Kentucky gardens are planted. The “History in Motion” cruiseline swing is hung. The flatboat is ready to launch. The kid-sized log cabins are awaiting young pioneers.
The long-anticipated opening of NaturePlay@BCM, an innovative outdoor play space at Behringer-Crawford Museum, took place Thursday, June 16. But the opening ceremonies were just the beginning. Soon, families will be able to check out SAPS (science and art packs) to help them explore and enjoy the play space. BCM summer camps will use the area for their programs, and an educator is being hired to oversee school-based programs linked to Kentucky core standards and STEAM-based education — science, technology, engineering, art and math.
There is another key aspect to NaturePlay — deprogramming. According to Rebekah Gensler, president of the Devou Good Project, which coordinated with BCM on NaturePlay, “Children have lots of structured play and educational time, and NaturePlay@BCM is intended to be a space for letting kids be kids — running, jumping, climbing, swinging, using their imaginations, having quiet moments to look and observe, read a book, dig in the dirt.”
“We want all kids to have the experience of just being able to wander and explore, as kids are hard-wired to do. And while it is great for kids to be able to explore on their own, or with friends, it is the opportunities to explore and discover as a family that most excite me,” Gensler said. “NaturePlay@BCM is a place where, regardless of who we are, where we come from or what special needs we have, we can come together as a family and community and interact with the natural world around us.”
The area, which is fully enclosed and handicapped accessible, will be free and open from dawn to dusk each day. Children must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times. Parking is free.