US Play Coalition Annual Conference Next Week!

US Play Coalition Annual Conference Next Week!

What does play look like, and how is the face of play changing? At the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play, the US Play Coalition‘s annual conference, professionals from around the country will convene to share research, tools, and strategies for promoting and enriching play. The focus of this year’s conference, The Many Faces of Play, celebrates the variety of ages, genders, races, ethnicities, abilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds present in play spaces and encourages attendees to rethink how to facilitate play for diverse and dynamic groups.

Gary Warner and Shweta Nanekar, two of WithersRavenel’s Professional Landscape Architects, will be sharing their own perspective on the transformative power of play in “The Butterfly Effect: Building on a Big Idea.” Their presentation will chart the development of Common Ground Park in Lakeland, FL. In their own words:

“Often parks and recreation departments are asked to develop an inclusive playground for the benefits of children of all abilities. And, often, that is what is provided. But what happens when the plan’s big idea transforms not just a playground but an entire park, and captures the imagination of an entire community? One community initiated a requested playground adaptation but ended up with a multi-million dollar park that benefits all children throughout the community and has become a showpiece for the city. See how one Florida community moved from a small playground renovation to a ‘big idea’ that transformed an entire park—and how they brought the funding along with it.”

This presentation, which will take place on Tuesday, April 10, at 9:45 AM, shows how approaching park planning and design, landscape architecture, and grant funding with an open mind and a generous spirit can radically change the landscape of a community for the better.

Photos from Common Ground Park in Lakeland, FL

The 2018 Conference on the Value of Play will be held at the Conference Center and Inn at Clemson University in South Carolina from Sunday, April 8, to Wednesday, April 11.