January 19, 2012

Outdoor play

Love Every Leaf: The Life of Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
by Kathy Stinson

Cornelia Oberlander was the first architect to realize the importance of living in harmony with nature. She was ahead of her time in designing green roofs and parks and in using native plants and soils. She also recognized the need of children to build and play, and designed wonderfully creative playgrounds. The adventure playground she created for Expo67 had hills to climb, tunnels to hide in, water for wading, and building materials for kids to construct their own houses. It may sound dangerous, but consider this: there was only one injury (a sprained ankle).

I've been unable to determine if Oberlander's playground still exists. I hope it does. In the meantime, read this inspiring book. It's filled with many imaginative ideas. I just wish that the photos were in colour!

(Kids Can Press)

An excellent and fun book about gardening, even if it uses drawings instead of photos. The introduction contains good information about garden preparation, and even tells you to test soil for lead (very important if you’re growing fruits and vegetables). The book has lots of helpful advice about garden design, harvest times, native plants, and school and community gardens. 

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