A recent post in the Playscapes weblog offers a detailed description of the plans and costs for creating the Brock Elementary School Natural Playscape.
Reportedly, it cost less than $9,000 to build the playground. Seems to me like a genuine bargain, especially given the quality of the play experience, and the natural beauty such a playground offers.
Playscapes includes a little quote that reflects, almost as well as the photographs, on what such an environment provides:
“As the garden has grown over the last two years, its play value has increased. Kids play hide and seek inside mature native shrubs, dig holes to compost their recess snacks and use the boulders and logs to play games. One of the wonderful things that has been observed in the garden is that kids of all ages play together and often choose to play in this space rather than on nearby equipment.”
It astounds me that such things as natural playgrounds are controversial. Almost as much as the comparative sterility of the commercial, concrete and plastic playgrounds that communities are paying so much more to install.