June 06, 2012

PlayTrails Turns Ordinary Trail into Extraordinary Play Space

Over the years, the Springfield R-12 School District and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board have worked diligently to develop a strong collaborative relationship. Together they continue to develop successful, cooperative projects that enhance quality of life and create a healthy environment for the whole community.  One of those projects is the South Creek Linear Park Trail.  

When this progressive community elected to become one of the first Pathways for Play™ National Demonstration Sites, it was clear that South Creek was the ideal location to infuse play into the existing pathway network due to its close proximity to the greenway, schools, and the botanical center.

The project began with a NatureGrounds® playground as an inviting play destination for families.  By strategically positioning the playground at the trail head, families were encouraged to also explore the various play pockets, butterfly gardens and planted mazes along the path.   GameTime worked with representatives from city and county agencies to design the play pockets around a “flora and fauna” theme in which they thoughtfully created fun, educational signage, playful activities, and a magnificent play sculpture representing the metamorphosis of the butterfly. 

GameTime utilized the Pathways for Play program to help the community plan, design and implement a Play Trail that transformed an ordinary park trail into an extraordinary destination for play. Bringing play to nature, Pathways for Play helps ensure that children grow healthier in body and spirit, while engaging with the beauty of the natural world.

The South Creek Play Trail is a shining example of how families can rediscover America’s trails when communities integrate play into a trail system. It combines learning with physical activity, promotes healthy lifestyles in children and brings families closer together.


Kent Callison