Get ready. Get set. PLAY!
The first TerraPark in Lancaster County opened on 10.10.10 in our Florin Hill neighborhood in Mount Joy. With the sun shining, a steady stream of homeowners, apartment residents and happy kids stopped over to check out Florin Hill’s newest amenity.
What is a natural playground?
This is not your status quo, “slide and monkey bar” kind of playground! Natural playgrounds are outdoor play spaces built in harmony with nature, designed to provide opportunities for children to climb trees, roll down hills, play in sand, scale rocks, and invent new games. At the TerraPark at Florin Hill, children can play in a space that challenges their cognitive creativity and that encourages outdoor play and imagination.
At Florin Hill, flat land in the front of the neighborhood was transformed into a rolling hill with a stone wall on one side that’s perfect for climbing. The best part? A 15’ slide built into the other side of the hill that enters a huge sand box – definitely a favorite for children of all ages!
TerraPark offers plenty of flat, green space great for old-fashioned games or throwing and kicking a ball. TerraPark’s fire pit amphitheater provides a central location for neighborhood activities and is a great spot for roasting marshmallows!
At the grand opening, children ran up the rock path towards the slide and had a blast in the sand box as parents with infants pushed strollers along the walking trail. Many enjoyed sitting by the fire pit, although on the unseasonably warm fall afternoon, the fire was a little too warm! Future plans of how the fire pit can be used were contemplated by our grown-up residents, while the children worked hard to find the right spot and ideal distance to get that perfectly toasted, gooey marshmallow.
The Inspiration Behind TerraPark
So why go through the fuss of building a TerraPark when installing a metal playground is faster and easier? Charter Homes President Rob Bowman notes that “as builders, we have an opportunity to create unique places.”
Bowman was inspired several years ago after reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. The book coined the phrase “nature deficient”, which Louv used to describe today’s wired and mostly indoor children. Louv cites research showing that a lack of time spent in nature has taken a toll, both mentally and physically, on today’s children. Bowman felt compelled to act, and starting working on a way that he could try to reconnect children with nature in the neighborhoods that he built.
The TerraPark™ at Florin Hill is another great addition to an already exceptional neighborhood, which recently was named Best Neighborhood in Pennsylvania by 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania. Florin Hill is a mixed-use neighborhood in Mount Joy with a wide array of homes including single family homes & townhomes. The neighborhood also includes apartment, office and retail space. A neighborhood fitness center and pool will open for the residents in 2011.
Want more information on living closer to nature in Florin Hill? Visit the Florin Hill website or call us at 800-325-3030.