LINCOLN SQUARE — The Chicago Park District plans to breathe new life into the old playground at Welles Park by converting the space along Montrose Avenue into a natural area.
Two concepts for the natural area, which will include a nature play area, will be presented at a community meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday at the Welles Park Field House, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.
Attendees will have an opportunity to vote for their preferred design.
So what exactly is a "nature play space"?
Think boulders to climb and logs to balance on instead of metal and plastic swings and slides, with a broader goal of incorporating natural landscape and vegetation into children's outdoor play.
The movement toward "nature play" is being promoted by the National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Forest Service, among other entities. The Chicago Park District was among the agencies that helped develop national guidelines for nature play areas.
Chicago's Site Design Group created the ideas for Welles Park. The group has a number of parks and playgrounds to its credit, including a play and grow garden at Garfield Park.
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