Thorne Lafayette Nature Center
Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds worked with the team at the Thorne Nature Center to develop an authentic nature experience with a focus on equitable access for a community that is severely underserved.
While many nature centers are located in affluent communities, The Lafayette Nature Center is located in the backyard of kids who have the least access to nature. Based less than a mile from Boulder County’s highest-poverty school, the center is a community hub for nature connection, ensuring nature for all.
The center includes a nature programming space, a nature play area, a community gathering space, and Thorne’s offices. The center is designed to get kids outside to experience nature rather than having them come inside to learn about nature through exhibits. The Lafayette Nature Center isn’t just the building- it is the entire property! The focal point of the nature center is the $1 million plus nature playground and community gathering space adjacent to Coal Creek Open Space, an idyllic site for children to have hands-on nature exploration and joyful experiences in the natural world.