Dan Ryan Woods Nature Play Garden


2021 Jensen Award


Chicago, IL


Forest Preserves of Cook County


Design, Jensen Award

Landscape Architects

site design group, ltd. (site)

Project Details

site design group, ltd. (site) worked with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) to design a one-of-a-kind Nature Play Garden and recreation improvements that promotes inventive play with natural materials while accommodating children of all ages and abilities. By maintaining the existing mature trees and natural topography on the site, creative play elements were incorporated into the landscape in an effort to encourage interaction, play, and exploration with nature. The design included custom wood play features, varying textures and materials, native plantings, and free-form play areas to promote creative play. Play features encourage use of a range of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social engagement, problem-solving skills, and intellectual engagement.

Project Team

Terra Engineering (Civil Engineering), Advance Consulting Group (Electrical Engineering), Applied GeoScience (Geotechnical), Key Construction, GreenCorps

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