The Geneva Park District’s Hawks Hollow Nature Playground will be honored by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association with an Outstanding Facility and Parks Award.
The award recognizes public agencies for their exceptional and unique achievements in design and development. After scoring the highest total points among entries submitted in its division and category from across Illinois, Geneva Park District will receive its award at the IAPD/IPRA Conference Awards Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.
The Hawks Hollow Nature Playground, the newest addition to Peck Farm Park, welcomes children and families to engage with nature through hands-on activities and unstructured play. Visitors learn about native bird species and the environment at eight interactive learning stations featuring mud, water, wood, plants, and other natural elements located throughout the park.
The one-acre site includes a life-sized bird nest and beaver lodge for children to add to using materials found on-site, a songbird stage with musical instruments, a mud wall canvas, a stream, a log balance beam course, a splash pad, and the custom-built Raptor’s Roost play structure with net climbers, pulley systems, look-out points and a slide.
Receiving this award emphasizes Geneva Park District’s commitment to fostering a legacy of environmental education. Research shows that direct exposure to nature is essential to healthy childhood development as it decreases stress, increases concentration, inspires creativity and improves self esteem.
“When I was a child, we spent entire summers outdoors exploring with friends. The only reason we came home was when mom called us in for dinner or to grab a jar for fireflies,” says Sheavoun Lambillotte, Executive Director at Geneva Park District. “Our goal with Hawks Hollow is to help children rediscover those simple pleasures — getting a little dirty, a little wet, a little creative, and learning something along the way. This award recognizes the importance of reconnecting with the childhood instinct to get outside and play.”
The naturalist staff at Peck Farm Park has designed educational programming for classes, field trips and birthday party rentals at Hawks Hollow. Hawks Hollow is open for play year round during regular park hours, from dusk until dawn, weather-permitting. Peck Farm Park is located at 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva. For more information, please call 630-262-8244 or visit genevaparks.org.
SOURCE: Geneva Park District