Have you taken the kids to a park recently?

This classic park surrounding the simply stunning Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art , in Kansas City is a great place to start – as long as the temperature are being kind !

Anyone for Badminton?
Anyone for Badminton?

The museum has a new exhibit which kids would really enjoy, as long as they are accompanied, it’s a glass Labyrinth.

Picture credit to Chris Smart
Picture credit to Chris Smart

Alternatively if you were across the pond  in say Paris, France  you could visit a more modern looking park. I think this is  Parc de Villette

Park  in Paris
Porte de Villette, Paris

or perhaps a more tropical park in say Honolulu.

A stunning park in Honolulu

Sometimes just the local school has a pleasant surprise in store, as this school in south London achieved.

A school quiet garden
A school quiet garden

Most parks are designed and built to a much higher engineering standard, so they can last a long time without needed costly repairs.

Over the years we have designed & built a huge array of children’s play areas, mostly in parks or on community housing sites, occasionally in a school, the one above was a really fun project, quite a few years ago now.

The idea was to have a theme for the closed in ‘quiet’ area, so the architect suggested a ‘Kentish Riverbank’ , so we developed a dry river bed using kidney stones set in a flowing pattern, added a jetty to lin the ‘Oast’ house from the ‘Kentish Barn’ , included a loading ramp – to enable wheel chair access and created a few sail boats with trees for masts and sails. All the planting was native to a Kentish riverbank along the dry river, with more architectural plants around the edge.

We added a ‘hump back bridge’ in natural stone & a fallen oak tree, from years back when there was a very large storm.

A Quiet School Garden
School Garden

One of the art teachers had the kids create a whole series of ceramic fish which we set into the river bed,  they make excellent brass rubbings !

Ceramic Fish for Riverbed.
Ceramic Fish for Riverbed.

Children love to interact with nature, they also enjoy movement,as well as some risk, you will notice though that here we kept away from moving objects as this was a ‘Quiet Garden’ .

City parks in recent years have tended away from moving pieces of play equipment, mainly due to the liability from accidents, they use a more static type of play equipment, although the classic swing is still in evidence in many parks to this day.

More awareness of other dangers has lead to many play areas being fenced in, to protect the children playing.

Visiting a local farm is yet another wonderful experience “Pick you Own’ farms can be a wonderful treat for the kids..

Fruit picking
Fruit picking

Here in Weston, Missouri we have a classic old style farm that is just enchanting.

Early one morning , Weston Red Barn Farm
Early one morning , Weston Red Barn Farm

Ann & I, interviewed Farmer Steve last week he will be on our show very soon, to tell you how busy he is kept with  all his animals and field of fruit and pumpkins not to mention around 15,000 kids visiting his farm each year !

You can hear our other interviews at   Growing Trends  on www.cravingtalkradio.com

Or you can visit our show web site at  www.grotrends.com  to read more

Enjoy your weekend, thank you for reading our blog, we would love to hear from you.

Ann & Chris

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Chris Coope

Author: Chris Coope

Born in Great Britain, Chris Dyson-Coope followed his training and passion in the field of horticulture for decades. This path led him to multiple awards for landscape design and many prestigious projects in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Chris has received 19 national awards for projects as varied as city parks, urban regeneration, playgrounds, office parks and streetscapes. He pioneered the use of designer drives in the 1980s utilizing Permacrib to create structural green walls and award-winning green roofs in London. Most recently, Dyson-Coope has nurtured his interest as an educational innovator to produce an Internet radio show (GrowingTrends.com), books on landscaping, and a series of fictional children's books that explore non-fictional themes such as sustainable agriculture, geography, and history. Convinced that the younger generation can (and must) learn from the older generation, as well as blazing new paths toward a sustainable future for a planet in deep distress from climate change and unsustainable practices, Dyson-Coope presents workable solutions in multiple formats, from books to inventions, podcasts and educational media. With several horticultural patents to his credit, the noted horticulturalist looks to the future with hope that the younger generation will grab the "torch" of innovation to develop and maintain a more sustainable world for us all. Dyson-Coope is a member of The Chartered Institute of Horticulture and serves as Director of Children's Sustainable Education for Energime University. Chris lives in Weston, Missouri, with his lovely wife, Cindi.

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