Homer Lake Natural Playscape:

Magic Included at no Extra Cost

What is a Natural Playscape?

What are the benefits of natural play?

Partners and Donors

Download and print the playscape brochure





How did you play when you were a kid? Did you . . .

  • Climb on logs
  • Jump on boulders
  • Dream of adventures
  • Dig holes
  • Dam up water
  • Catch bugs . . .
The Homer Lake Natural Playscape will bring back the magic of those experiences for today’s kids! They will once again experience the wonder of nature play!

Help us bring back the magic of nature play for a new generation by donating now to this exciting project!! Use this link to donate toward the Homer Lake Natural Playscape through the CCFPD Foundation. Donations over $1,000 will be recognized on permanent signage erected at the playscape site.

What is a Natural Playscape?

A Natural Playscape is a landscape designed for play with the express purpose of connecting people to nature. Unlike a traditional playground made of plastic and metal, Natural Playscapes use natural materials like streams, plants, boulders, logs, earth mounds and more to provide a highly creative, interactive play experience.

These play experiences are akin to those that many kids had a generation ago, and which are becoming increasingly rare today. The Homer Lake Natural Playscape will help bring back the magic of those experiences for today’s kids, and help grow future advocates for the environment while also building healthier bodies and minds.

Return to top of page

What are the Benefits of Nature Play?

The benefits are many and varied, and have been demonstrated through research. They include:

For more details about these benefits, along with the research cited, please see: peecworks.org

Perhaps the most significant outcome is stewardship. As Ken Finch, President of Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood, says, “Among conservationists, the experience of childhood nature play is nearly ubiquitous.” Research has shown that “… participation with “wild” nature before age 11 is a particularly potent pathway toward shaping both environmental attitudes and behaviors in adulthood . . . the experience is likely to stay with them in a powerful way—shaping their subsequent environmental path.”

Source: Nature and the Life Course: Pathways from Childhood Nature Experiences, Nancy M. Wells and Kristi S. Lekies, Cornell University, in Children, Youth and Environments, 2006

Return to top of page

The Compass Stone
Crawdad Creek
Stump Jump
Boulder Bluff
Home Tweet Home
Spiderweb Climber
Conceptual Drawing - click for larger image

Track Our Progress

October 2010 - We have flagged the site! Click here for a virtual tour

April 2011 - Construction will start soon! Rocks for the stream have been shipped! (Note: The pink flag in one of the photos marks the location of a new electrical line going to Walnut Hill shelter) For safety’s sake, please remember to stay off playscape materials and construction equipment.image 1 | image 2

May 2011 - Construction on the natural playscape is slated to start soon. Pathways have been mowed in preparation for earthmoving, and a sign at the future entrance of the playscape welcomes visitors and lets them know what the activity is all about. image 1 | image 2

June 2011 - Construction continues on the playscape. The pathways have been cut, and are graded to be ADA accessible. The crew has started pouring the concrete for the pathways, which will be stamped and colored to give a rock-like look. image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

July 2011 - The tree is here! Our construction and maintenance staff transported the large tree that will be a main focal point for the playscape. We are excited that one more piece is in place! image 1 | image 2 | image 3

September 2011 - Construction on the stream has begun! The stream will be a focal point and, we anticipate, one of the most popular features of the playscape. Pumps will bring lake water to a large basin at the top of the hill. The water will then flow down the streambed, meandering through large boulders, back to the lake. image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

October 2011 - The stream is coming together beautifully. It is bordered by large boulders, with a streambed made out of river rocks embedded in concrete. Staff added details to the concrete, including leaf prints and animal tracks. The basin at the top of the stream will be camouflaged with rocks, and a bridge at the lower portion of the stream will tie in with the playscape walkways. image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

May 2012 - The beautiful weather has allowed for quite a bit to be done at the playscape this spring. In March over 78,000 lbs of granite boulders were delivered , these have since been placed as the climbing boulders and the Compass Rock on the playscape. The birdhouse construction is finished and the sidewalks have all been poured. We will next begin work on the spiderweb.image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

June - July 2012 - We held a volunteer work day and planted several shrubs, bushes and plants throughout the playscape. image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

September 2012 - The entrance structure for the Natural Playscape was installed on September 6. The structure will be covered with willow branches and will be completed by the Grand Opening on September 27. image 1 | image 2 | image 3 | image 4

Return to top of page

Partners and Donors

We have been very fortunate to have received tremendous community support for this project, including excited interest, creative ideas and donations.

Community Partners to date include:

We would like to thank everyone for their donations! Thank you!

Return to top of page

For more information about this project, and opportunities to support it, please contact  Dan Olson, Executive Director (dolson@ccfpd.org) or Pam Leiter, Coordinator of Environmental Education & Interpretation (pleiter@ccfpd.org).