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PBS SHOW - Natural Connection, Room to Roam, Pocket Prairies, #2705

They encourage active and imaginative play as well as reflection and renewal. In the latest phase of work, partners are designing nature play spaces to be accessible to people with all levels of mobility. Northwest RSDP's support for nature play spaces has grown into a major body of work that has reached six Greater Minnesota communities and involved multiple units at two University of Minnesota system campuses.


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With the support of a U. RSDP has also hosted workshops and conferences to support community discussions about creating natural play spaces.

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With a city park located on the school grounds, the project provided an opportunity to open discussions with the Moorhead Parks and Recreation Department about how parks can provide opportunities for both nature play and accessible play. A grant from IonE supports collaboration across disciplinary specialties, and project leaders are reaching out to University faculty with expertise in child development and physical disabilities.

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Over the past several years of this work, the Northwest RSDP has worked closely with two University campuses and a cross-section of community groups on this effort. Many students and classes were directly involved in this effort and the 'real world' aspect greatly enhanced their education and training.

Castle has been integrally involved in the work by facilitating both research and student connections. Castle's undergraduate landscape design and construction students have helped develop play area designs as well as install parts of the projects.

Castle also conducts research on the benefits of connecting children and nature. Involvement of community members throughout the process has resulted in a strong sense of community ownership of these places.

Advocates for Nature

This results in more frequent usage of the spaces and active community supporters of not just the spaces themselves, but also the overall mission of improving community health. Beyond University-community engagement, Singh also credited the work with fostering interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration. Between the Twin Cities and Crookston, the work connected two University of Minnesota system campuses and multiple units within those campuses.

Building and strengthening effective relationships between the University and the citizens and communities it serves is one of three core goals shaping RSDP's work.

The Museums partnership in this evening is allowing us to pass on early registration to you, our members. Thank you for all you do to support our efforts to inspire curiosity and foster learning by activating our natural surroundings.

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We hope you enjoy learning from Richard and hearing how his work influenced our programs. His books have been translated and published in 24 countries, and helped launch an international movement to connect children, families and communities to nature. Come and learn about the challenge of Nature-Deficit Disorder. Louv will share how nature experience is gaining notice among public health professionals; why the more high-tech we become, the more nature we need; how natural learning environments improve the ability to learn and be creative; and also how connecting with animals can transform our lives — and help save theirs.

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