From March 13th until the 22nd, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds is exhibiting a beautiful, Natural Playground at Canada Blooms and the National Home Show. This will be a fully functioning, universally accessible, 8000 square foot, children’s playscape. It is the largest fully accessible display ever built at Canada Blooms.
This is our first time back to Festival after taking a 5 year hiatus to build over 500 playgrounds across North America. We are excited to be back building another great example of what we can do together to re-engage our children and communities with our natural environment.
Through our experience in building and designing over 1500 natural playgrounds, and countless awards and many accolades for universal accessibility over the past 20 years, we are convinced that this is the best alternative our cities have to address many of the areas of increasing concern about the sterilization of our public spaces. We are very proud of our stats that in spite of constantly pushing the envelope in our designs, we have yet to receive an injury claim from any of our play environments and our natural playground owners report a 90% reduction in bullying since our installations. This should not come as a surprise; studies seem to indicate that the more sensory engagement that children have while playing, the better they are at assessing risk.
Authentic natural playgrounds built from real raw nature that celebrate our natural environment and provide a fully sensory-rich experience in an urban ecological oasis represent our best opportunity to have a meaningful impact on all of these new challenges at the moment when our children are figuring out who they are and who they will be. It is time to rethink the concept that one focused piece of equipment on a flat plane of rubber is good enough. When we think of accessibility, it is time to ask the question, “Accessible to what?”. What are the ideal experiences that all children require for a healthy immune system? According to the worlds most accomplished immunologists in the 2016 Helsinki Alert, it is contact with the micro and macro-organisms found in a biodiverse environment. The more contact the better. Lack of contact with a biodiverse environment has been shown to have a causal relationship with increasing rates of ADHD, stress related and sensory processing disorders, diabetes, IBD, certain cancers, For those confined to a wheelchair, they have even less access to biodiverse environment than any of their fully mobile friends.
If you’re looking for something to do this March break, look no further. We’ll be offering programming running throughout the entirety of the show to keep children engaged and learning.