THUNDER BAY – Natural Playgrounds offer young people more enticement to pretend and to build than the plastic and metal playgrounds that most places in Thunder Bay currently offer. Right now the City of Thunder Bay is preparing to shift the playgrounds in Limbrick, Windsor, 707 John Street, and Trillium neighbourhoods to the new natural playgrounds.
Input is being gathered from the residents in the neighbourhoods about what type of playgrounds are wanted in each neighbourhood. Aaron Park with District Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) is heading up the consultations. It is TBDSSAB who are funding the improvements for the neighbourhoods.
The presentation states, “In contrast, natural playgrounds focus on creating settings to enable social play (pretending) and constructive play (building). This is a sharp contrast from the conventional playground which is more designed to encourage ‘active play’.
The natural playground is a step toward getting young people engaged in more traditional play, rather than planned play.
A study conducted in Great Britain in 2011 found “Indicators of emotional well-being improved. There has been:
- · A reduction in the reporting of bullying.
- · A dramatic reduction in physical injuries.
- · Increased opportunities for free, imaginative and creative play.
- · Enhanced social interaction between different groups of children, including between boys and girls and different age groups.
- · Enhanced options for solitude, where needed, and for children who may not be interested in football/ tarmac based activities to thrive and flourish at best and, at least, not be singled out.
- · Enhanced opportunities for interacting with nature at playtime.
On Tuesday, August 7th parents in the Windsor neighbourhood will have an opportunity to engage with representatives of the city of Thunder Bay at an information session.