Colene Hoose Elementary School
Mixing art and play to create an enriching sensory experience that promotes cognitive development is the cornerstone of the one-of-a-kind natural playground currently being installed at Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal, Illinois.
A 16-acre legacy piece is a creative collaboration between Danish landscape architect Helle Nebelong, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds & JSD Professional Services Inc.; Philanthropist Charlie Jobson and his foundation have committed $5 million towards the development of a world-class natural playground campus at his elementary alma mater.
The massive natural playground space was designed and constructed with a multitude of developmental lobes as well as outdoor gardening spaces and classrooms for a nature-based curriculum and outdoor learning. Creating a nature play area allows children to explore and gain necessary sensory experiences that support cognitive development. Studies have shown such experiences, like those found throughout the playground, reduce bullying and boost test scores among a myriad of other developmental benefits for the community and its youth.