Remember when you OWNED the outdoors? (2014)
Remember when you were a kid? Climbing trees, building a fort, making mud pies, looking under rocks and sprawling on the grass? A summer day could last forever.
Are those days over?
Oregon State Parks invites you to Silver Falls State Park May 31 to officially recapture that experience. We’re dedicating a special piece of the outdoors to all kids (ages 1-100 only, please) at the first Nature Play area built in our state park system. It’s been in the works for a few years now, and we want you to help us celebrate the progression from indoor blueprints to outdoor footprints.
A “nature play” area is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a safe place for unstructured play, created to spark the imagination and encourage physical activity. At Silver Falls, this takes the form of a ¼-mile loop of adventure pods. Kids can climb a tree, hide out in a cougar’s “den,” growl like a bear, weave a bird’s nest, look for tracks, see the world through the eyes of other critters—and, well, play.
It doesn’t take an expert to see that kids aren’t connecting with the outdoors as much as kids used to. The habits we set in childhood are the single biggest predictor of how we live our lives as adults. Playing outside in a natural setting plants the seeds of good physical health, creative thinking and a sense of connection to the larger world. It seems that a little dirt— and a lot of nature—can be a good thing.
When: Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m.-Noon
Where: North Falls Group Camping area. Look for signs. Parking on site is free for attendees.
Activities: Remarks, refreshments, guided tour, volunteer to help plant native plants, and of course PLAY.