St Thomas Aquinas ELC Naturescape
The vision of a natural play space with journey and habitat and a range of experiences for children has been expressed in the plan as follows:
• Water journey through berms and swales and underground water harvesting trenches.
• Path journey with defined hard surface winding like a serpent through the landscape
• Trail journey through the landscape with rock hopping, log traversing, rolling downs hills to stimulate the vestibular senses (important for healthy functioning of balance and emotional development)
• Habitats of vegetable gardens, tree and shrub nests, hollows and rock circles, sandpits in stone circles, dry creek bed and orchard
• Chook runs and fruit trees.
• Seasonal diversity with a tree Microforest expressing a range of leaf and flower colours throughout Canberra’s 4 distinct seasons.
Teachers are able to work with the children study water, soil microbial activity, plants and tree growth and the wildlife and bird populations that are attracted by the variety of tree and plant species.
As a natural biomimicry landscape, the diversity of experience and changing nature of the environment creates a dynamic landscape for children to play, learn, interact and generate a connection between each other and nature in a non-directed non-competitive way that encourages collaborative and nurtures heart intellect and social connection through interaction with each other in a nature environment.
St Thomas Aquinas ELC
Charnwood ACT, Australia
Paul Totterdell (Waterharvesting)
JT4 Garden Service
Learning Environments Australasia Design (LEAD) Awards
LANDSCAPING/OUTDOOR LEARNING AREA- COMMENDATION