Community Gets a Sneak Preview of NaturePlay@BCM
BB&T Donation to Fund Swing, Slide, Other Features
(COVINGTON, KY) – In just a few months, local children will be able to uncover “prehistoric” fossils, float down a river on a flatboat and zip on a cruise line swing. It’s all part of NaturePlay@BCM, an innovative, nature-oriented playspace at Behringer-Crawford Museum (BCM), scheduled to open to the public in June.
Groundbreaking for NaturePlay@BCM took place last August. In the past six months, a grassy hillside behind BCM has been turned into an enclosed adventure zone, with winding paths imprinted with animal tracks, dig pits, kid-height sensory tables for quiet time-outs and even a climbable replica of a trilobite, an extinct fossil arthropod.
The first stages of the project, a collaboration between BCM and The Devou Good Project, were unveiled Tuesday at a community and media briefing at the museum. The event included the announcement of a $25,000 donation to the project by BB&T Bank. Bank officials also participated in a “roof-raising,” completing construction of a pint-sized pioneer log cabin.
Rebekah Gensler Butler, president of The Devou Good Project, a Covington nonprofit whose mission is to help other nonprofits bring their ideas to fruition, said there is much more to come, including a “Kentucky cave” crawling space, a tunnel built of native willow for kids to explore, a changeable pioneer garden with native fruits, vegetables and herbs, and dry creeks lined with local rock embedded with fossils for children to discover and study. “NaturePlay@BCM is all about giving kids the opportunity to explore and discover our past, present, and then look to our future, “she said.
In presenting a check to Behringer-Crawford Museum, BB&T Regional President Andy Hawking said, “BB&T’s mission statement is simple yet powerful. To make the world a better place to live. An element of the statement is our commitment to make the communities in which we work better places to be. BB&T’s support of NaturePlay@BCM reflects our beliefs that this innovative, natural play space will provide unique outdoor experiences for all our region’s children. We thank the Behringer Crawford Museum and the Devou Good Project for allowing us to partner with them on this unique playground.”
BCM Executive Director Laurie Risch said the bank’s donation will be used for completing the playground structures such as the cruise line, slide and giant trilobite. “NaturePlay@BCM will extend the museum’s educational offerings to the outdoors,” she said. “STEAM programming to meet classroom curriculum is currently under development. We can’t wait to introduce students to the world of nature, science and art.
NaturePlay@BCM was designed by POD Design and is being built by Triton Services, Inc. Its location in Covington, KY places it in the heart of the Greater Cincinnati area, easily accessible to local school districts and families, with educational programming being designed specifically for both groups. Pathways and major play features will be wheelchair accessible and there will be no admission charge.
For more information about NaturePlay@BCM go to http://www.natureplaybcm.org/
Come NaturePlay with Us!
Community Update, Press Conference and Photo/Video Opportunities
1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Behringer-Crawford Museum in Devou Park
(COVINGTON, KY) – Our community briefing for NaturePlay@BCM earlier this month had to be rescheduled, but the good news is that the weather is much better and new features have been installed in the meantime at our innovative new playspace.
Please join us as we unveil the progress to date, make a major announcement about funding and literally raise the roof on one of the playground’s key structures. There will be children on hand to “test drive” some of NaturePlay’s unique features, including kid-size pioneer cabins, a working flatboat, a zipline “History in Motion” swing and a giant, climbable trilobite (an extinct fossil arthropod.) And who says NaturePlay is just for kids? If you want to take a turn, we won’t tell!
NaturePlay@BCM is located behind Behringer-Crawford Museum at 1600 Montague Road, in Devou Park. It’s a collaboration between BCM and the Devou Good Project, a Covington nonprofit whose mission is to help other nonprofits bring their ideas to fruition. Designed by POD Design and being built by Triton Services, Inc., NaturePlay@BCM is a gated and completely inclusive area where kids can run free, dig in the dirt, get to know the natural world, and at the same time, be exposed to and gain an understanding of the region’s prehistory and pioneer settlements.
NaturePlay@BCM is slated to open to the public in June 2016. Visit www.natureplaybcm.org for more information.
This spring-like weather is a great time to dream about the outdoor play on its way! Here are some long-awaited pictures of construction at NaturePlay@BCM. Construction is slightly behind schedule, no surprise with the amount of rain in Greater Cincinnati this fall, but we are still set for a June Grand Opening.
The picture on the right shows the Cedar entryway in the distance. Directly in front is a really nifty stone bench with a sensory table to the left.
On the left is another view of the Entryway with several levels of Sensory Tables. The tables are designed to hold interesting objects for touch, feel, and sight. They are also designed to be crawled around and under and meant to be a place of refuge anytime a child needs a break from NaturePlay@BCM’s sensory experiences. It may look muddy now, but the area will be mulched and seeded. And a little mud never hurt anyone….
We have jokingly called the project “NaturePlay@BCM…or a million ways to hide from your parents” since its beginning conceptual phases. Here is a place where kids can have at it and hide away. The entire area will be fenced in with one entry. Note: they can only go so far.
And finally, sitting in a pile of mud kids only dream about, are the posts to our Inclusive Zipline Cable Swing. We can’t wait to put this into action. Directly behind it is the chimney to one of the 2 perfectly kid-sized cabins on site. And don’t worry, the mud is temporary. Play surface will be down as soon as the weather permits its installation.