Live / Infusing Nature into the Everyday Spaces of Childhood

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Research has found that children’s exposure to nature is beneficial to their academic, social, psychological, cognitive, and physical health. Explore evidence-based design best practices for outdoor play environments and trails that intentionally reconnect children with nature to support family fun, active lifestyles, and unique opportunities for learning. Case examples of playground naturalization and playful pathways will demonstrate innovative solutions to encourage multigenerational play and offer extended play value to visitors. A variety of tools and resources will be shared to assist with the planning and design process of creating innovative destinations that connect communities, encourage health promotion through play, and respond to our intuitive desire to engage with nature.

Learning Objectives:

  • Outline the current research and benefits of naturalized play environments and playful pathway networks designed to engage children with nature.
  • Describe at least three best practices/considerations when intentionally designing nature into the everyday spaces of childhood.
  • Summarize two case study examples of naturalized play environments and playful pathways that have been designed to encourage active lifestyles for children, families, and communities.
  • Describe available resources and develop an action plan for project implementation that addresses management, maintenance, partnerships, volunteers, and potential funding for sustainability.

Jennie Sumrell

CORE Community Outreach Director


Jennie worked in the field of childhood development and exceptional learning for nearly fifteen years. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Jennie joined PlayCore in 2008 and serves as the Community Outreach Director within PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research and Education. Deeply passionate about inclusive, intergenerational play, Jennie utilizes her expertise and personal experiences as a educator to positively impact the development of innovative play and recreation destinations that focus on community health and wellness.

Inés Palacios, PhD (Moderator)

Training & Professional Development Manager

PlayCore / CORE

Inés is responsible for promoting the value of recreation for people of all ages and abilities. She provides continuing educational opportunities, professional development, and research that supports recreation and play while generating partnerships and alliances in the field. She joined the PlayCore team in August 2013 after obtaining her PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from NC State University. Before joining PlayCore, she was an instructor at NC State University in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management Department. In addition, she has experience in event planning, program management, research, and national presentations. Inés is based out of Raleigh, NC.

This session will offer the following credits:



CEUs for a total of 1 Professional Development Hours (0.1 IACET CEU / 1.0 AIA HSW LU / 1.0 LA CES HSW PDH) will be provided to learners meeting the following requirements: 

  • Be present for 95% of the duration of the learning event; 
  • Participate in activities and discussion throughout; 
  • Complete assessment with 80% mastery of learning outcome;
  • Complete feedback/evaluation survey.

To obtain your CEU, please visit the "Event Details" tab above to complete the associated components for this event.

Instructor(s) Disclosures:

The instructors of this training webinar are employed by PlayCore and disclose an interest in attendees partnering with PlayCore on their play and recreation initiatives.

Speakers Disclosures:

The opinions of the speakers in these events do not necessarily reflect the views of PlayCore and its brands.


For any questions or to request a copy of the written transcript for this session, please contact


Infusing Nature Recording
03/22/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/22/2023
03/22/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/22/2023
Obtain your CEU Credit
Step 1: Complete Infusing Nature Survey
9 Questions
Step 2: Take Infusing Nature Quiz
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  80/100 points to pass
10 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  80/100 points to pass
Step 3: Download Infusing Nature Certificate
1.00 (0.1 IACET CEU / 1.0 AIA HSW LU / 1.0 LA CES HSW PDH) credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 (0.1 IACET CEU / 1.0 AIA HSW LU / 1.0 LA CES HSW PDH) credit  |  Certificate available