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Parks and Recreation Magazine

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Although more municipal recreation agencies and schools have begun to develop and implement natural playscapes in their communities, there is little empirical evidence on the direct impact of this feature and how it has the potential to benefit children over traditional playgrounds. Researchers at the University of Illinois in the Department of Human and Community Development conducted a study to evaluate the Champaign County Forest Preserve’s new Homer Lake Natural Playscape between August and December 2012 using a mixed-methods research design. This entailed an onsite questionnaire (n=152) and one-on-one interviews (n=15) with parents and grandparents, as well as participant observations at the Natural Playscape.


Reprinted with permission from Parks & Recreation Magazine from its June 2014 issue. Copyright 2014 by the National Recreation and Park Association. This article can also be found online at this link.