A long-anticipated playground has finally announced an official opening date in Kalamazoo.

This isn't your typical playground with swing sets, slides, and a sandbox. Instead, this playground will focus on delivering a more natural area for the kids to play in. The announcement of this Nature Playscape was originally covered in December of 2021:

Now, the Children's Nature Playscape will officially be opening to the public.

First, What is a Natural Playground/Playscape?

A natural playground as compared to a regular playground is probably just what you would expect: focused on nature.

The definition, according to groundsforplay.com, is,

a play environment that consists of elements and textures from the earth such as tree logs, tree stumps, boulders, plants, drainage paths, among others instead of a traditional steel playground structure that includes slides and climbers.

That same website also claims that children who play on natural playscapes benefit from the physical challenge of climbing over boulders, etc. which, in turn, helps with motor skills, coordination, and socialization too.

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What to Expect at This Playscape:

While the original goal was to open in June of 2022, the park will be open on July 15th at 11:30 am.

Should you drive by the area, adjacent to Bronson Park at 302 Academy St., you'll already see many of the natural pieces in place:

The Nature Playscape will be free to the public and designed to be inclusive and barrier-free, according to the press release. The space will be filled with native shrubs, grass, and other plants with various artistic benches for the adults and log benches for the kids.

While the grand opening event is scheduled for July 15th, the park will only be open on select days. For now. The schedule, right now, is:

  • Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-3:00
  • Saturday 10:00-3:00
  • Sunday 12:00-4:00

You can find more information on the grand opening, updates on construction, and what's on the way for Phase 2 by following Children's Nature Playscape on Facebook or by visiting their website. That's also where you'll find information on donating should you be interested in contributing to this park.

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