Haw Creek Commons Natural Playground
by Kate Rudd

The natural playground that we spotlighted as just a dream a few months ago has now become a reality!

The playground includes a trail system, outdoor kids’ chapel and education space, three tiered platform, a slide embedded in the hill on the trail, a log bordered sandbox, a log balance beam system, four tunnels to grow hops for a local brewery, and two nature tables to inspire children to use nature to make temporary creations.

The project was inspired by eight-year-old Laine Lingle, whose grant proposal made it into the final round of the Awesome Asheville awards. Jarad Barkeim of Coulee Region Ecospaces worked with Laine to design the playground, install many of the features, and managed two volunteer workdays so the community could take part in the creation of the space, including Laine and his family. Coulee Region Ecoscapes donated significantly to make this project possible. Primary funding was made possible by Missional Wisdom Foundation who is Haw Creek Commons parent organization.

Children have been playing in the natural playground daily and seem to love their new space. If you are in the area, feel free to bring your family to play!  It’s located adjacent to the existing playground behind Bethesda United Methodist Church and trails through the Haw Creek Commons woods.

Photo credits: Andrea Lingle

Photo credits: Andrea Lingle

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