The native Kentucky gardens are planted. The “History in Motion” cruiseline swing is hung. The flatboat is ready to launch. The kid-sized log cabins are awaiting young pioneers.
The long-anticipated opening of NaturePlay@BCM, an innovative outdoor play space at Behringer-Crawford Museum, will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 16. The event, which is open to the public, will include a ribbon-cutting by local children, speeches by organizers and supporters, light refreshments, and stickers and “tattoos” for the kids.
Once open, families will be able to check out SAPS (science and art packs) to help them explore and enjoy the play space. BCM summer camps will use the area for their programs, and an educator will oversee school-based programs linked to Kentucky core standards and STEAM-based education — science, technology, engineering, art and math.
But there is another key aspect to NaturePlay — deprogramming. According to Rebekah Gensler, president of the Devou Good Project, which coordinated with BCM on NaturePlay, “Children have lots of structured play and educational time, and NaturePlay@BCM is intended to be a space for letting kids be kids — running, jumping, climbing, swinging, using their imaginations, having quiet moments to look and observe, read a book, dig in the dirt.”
The area, which is fully enclosed and handicapped accessible, will be free and open from dawn to dusk each day. Children must be accompanied by an adult and supervised at all times. Parking is free.
The NaturePlay@BCM opening will be followed by Music@BCM, featuring Jake Speed & The Freddies, at 7 p.m. in the BCM amphitheater. Concert admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children aged 3-12.
NaturePlay@BCM is supported by the R.C Durr Foundation, BB&T and Toyota. It was designed by POD Design and built by Triton Services, Inc. Other participating contractors include Allison Landscaping, Elk Run Construction, Scott Ranz Construction, Stanton Millworks and T.J. Williams Electric.
For more information about NaturePlay@BCM, visit www.natureplaybcm.org.