Rethinking Playgrounds: A Design Investigation of Playscape Theory
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This thesis studies how playscapes and nature play offer alternatives to traditional playground designs by encouraging multiple facets of childhood development. Playscapes promote play spaces that integrate physical, mental, and educational features. Harnessing the malleability of the natural landscape provides clear developmental advantages that surpass traditional structure-based playground design and provide opportunities for building environmental literacy. After combining research with feedback taken from site users, a design will be proposed for the exterior of Riverdale Elementary School, in Riverdale Maryland. Anacostia Watershed Society has received a grant for implementing stormwater controls and improving the quality of the nearby Wells Run stream. The design of this project will show how it will be possible to combine playscape, nature play, and environmental literacy goals with stormwater storage and treatment to transform the school's environment.