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Lots to explore at Friendship Grove Nature Playscape

As the weather finally starts to warm up, Urbana Park District wants to let kids and their parents know the Anita Purves Nature Center Friendship Grove Nature Playscape is ready for kids to explore the world.

"The playscape is not your traditional playground with slides and swing sets," said Savannah Donovan, Environmental Public Program Coordinator. “All the play features are nature based. We have logs and boulders and hills as climbing structures.”

At the nature playscape, kids can play with wooden blocks and other natural objects and "loose parts," "They can use these loose parts to create their own play experience," Donovan added.

"We see a lot of imaginative play."

If parents bring their kids to the nature playscape they can allow them to explore the natural world in a safe environment. "All aspects of the playscape are inspected for safety at least once a week. It’s a half-way point between a traditional playground and letting kids go free in the woods. They can interact with nature in a controlled environment," Donovan explained.

Another plus about the nature playscape is that parents don’t have to worry about kids harming natural areas when they play. "Everything in the playscape is for kids to touch, play with and get messy," Donovan said.

The Friendship Grove Nature Playscape is open from sunrise to sunset. And, is an award-winning structure. It received the Governor’s Home Town Award in 2018.

"Everyone belongs outside and in nature," Donovan said. “All are welcome to bring their family to the Friendship Grove Nature Playscape to explore, experiment, create and have fun.”

For more information about Friendship Grove Nature Playscape, please see this edition of Mark in the Park, a program that airs on Urbana Public Television.


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