You might not see it, but trust us, your kids do.
That hill is not just a hill. It’s a playground.
At Charter, we’re big champions of natural playgrounds, with green spaces and slides, rock walls, amphitheaters, and secret nooks. We call them TerraPark®, and we build them into our neighborhoods to help foster a love of nature and imaginative play.
In fact, a majority of child development experts have noted that natural playgrounds unlock children's imaginations, leading to less boredom. TerraPark® utilizes the natural contours of the land to hide little amphitheaters that kids can transform into their own castles, forts, and play houses. Slides are built into hills, small canyons are designed to run through or jump over and of course, there’s still plenty of level ground for a good game of ball.
We were inspired to create TerraPark® by the book “The Last Child in the Woods,” authored by child advocacy expert Richard Louv, in which he coined the term "nature deficit disorder". Louv connects the rise of hyperactivity, attention problems, and depression to the ever-expanding wired culture among modern kids. He also notes that time spent in nature and plenty of exercise are antidotes for these conditions.
The idea behind TerraPark® has a lot in common with our overall design philosophy. We aim to create shared spaces to be enjoyed with neighbors and friends, and easy ways to connect with nature through miles of walking trails and green spaces.
To experience TerraPark® firsthand, grab the kids and head to Walden, Arcona, Hastings, Meeder or any one of The Great American Neighborhoods®.