Building Better Communities Through Water and Nature-Based Play — August Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on July 23, 2020

OSR August Bonus 410

The August issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode, we’re diving deeper into one of this month’s feature stories, “Restoring Nature’s Playground.” We’re thrilled to be joined by the two authors, Patti Sterling, the grants coordinator for Town of Bel Air, Maryland, and Akosua Cook, a park planner for the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to talk about the importance of water and nature-based amenities in their local parks and the projects they have put in place to raise awareness and education. We’re also joined by Carrie Williams, president of American Water Charitable Foundation, who has supported these projects through the Building Better Communities Grant program. 

Patti and Akosua have been instrumental in implementing these water play and nature-based amenities in their communities through the Chesapeake Sensory Plaza in the Town of Bel Air and “The Spring” in Chattanooga. Tune in to the full episode below to hear our conversation with them about how these projects have gone, how they are creating educational play experiences, and how they are providing opportunities for future environmental stewards.  

Other topics we discuss on the episode include:

  • The benefits of water and nature-based amenities in raising awareness and educating the public about natural resources, as well as fostering new generations of environmental stewards. 
  • Challenges that may arise with similar projects. 
  • The importance of community engagement. 
  • How park and recreation professionals can pursue similar nature-based or water play projects. 
  • Tips on applying for grants to support your projects. 
  • And more. 

Listen to the episode for the full story.


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