Meet Our Design Team
Adam is an internationally acclaimed designer, builder, and researcher of nature-based play spaces, and the founder of Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. Adam has traveled globally to advocate for children’s rights to nature play, and to collaborate on the creation of spectacular natural parks and playgrounds.
His resume in the natural playground industry is unparalleled; highlights include creating campuses, training, working on projects for the US Army, Parks Canada, and Australia, and City projects for Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver, Calgary, New York, Austin, Denver, Chicago, and Miami.
Adam lives and works at the forefront of the movement to connect children to nature. His bold, charismatic personality sets the tone for the entire company, and he’s at his happiest when he’s pushing executives, municipal managers, and educators out of their comfort zones.
He sits on numerous advisory committees, including the International Association of Nature Pedagogy, Parliamentary Commission on Urban Conservation, The Candadian Wildlife Federation and the Systematic Literature Review on Risky Outdoor Play. His work is accessible, natural and fun.
Known for his wit and humour as a public speaker, Adam invites us to shed our inhibitions and play in the mud. He is the proud husband of Jill Bienenstock, and father of two sons, Sam and Leo. He sneaks off to northern Ontario when he needs to immerse himself in nature; he believes it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.
As the co-author of The Systematic Literature Review on Outdoor Risky Play, Adam warns us not to be fooled by the serious nature of his experience, after all, at its core this is about inspiring play for our kids… so you can expect some playfulness and irreverence when working with him!
As one of the longest-standing employees on our team, Dave is a master of all things Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds. He is also responsible for project estimates and design, quality control, and training the team in our design studio.
Ms. Van Dyken’s career began as an intern for the Park Planning Department in Fort Collins, Colorado. In 2010 she received her license in Landscape Architecture and has managed a variety of projects from small parks to entire communities.
She joined Bienenstock in 2021 to connect her profession with her passion to bring nature to children.
Always pursuing purpose in his design career, Andrew naturally landed at Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds to assist the design team in heralding authentic nature experiences. Andrew brings a diverse background in the landscape industry – both in the field and design studio – to Bienenstock and utilizes these experiences in client relationships, creating design concepts, cost estimates and installation details.
While our team of designers may come from a collections of unique backgrounds, we are grounded in our shared belief in the awesome power of nature to enrich child development and grow the next generation of environmental stewards.
The Bienenstock team of nature play experts work with cities, school boards and landscape architects to take their visions from the planning stages to the result. We believe in nature of pedagogy, child centred inquiry and play-based learning in nature, allowing children to build skills and abilities with play.
Our design team approaches each project independently, we will work with the client’s ideas and goals, adding our own playground design experience to make a place for children to grow.
Each of our playground designs focus on achieving the goals set out by the client and ensuring the longevity of the final natural playscape and any environmental needs such a drainage, or noise reduction, traffic calming, etc. We work with local companies to provide the trees and other natural elements to reflect the local landscape and flora.
For school boards we can offer full turn-key solutions allowing the client to expedite from design to build quickly, cutting down the time required to finish your project.
We also work with LAs ( landscape architects ) on RFPs ( request for proposal ) using our depth of knowledge on natural playground design to assist them in the RFP application process. We are happy to act as your nature play consultant and support your project from design, to the building stage, and beyond when necessary.
All of our natural playground ideas focus on the optimal development of children, utilizing nature as a vector. Children who spend more time outdoors become better stewards for the future of our beautiful planet.