SF’s New 12,000sqft Nature Exploration Area at Heron’s Head Park
San Francisco has announced their new concept design for the brand new Nature Exploration Area (NEA) at Heron’s Head Park.
The NEA will create a unique space that allows for active play, passive recreation, gathering with friends and family, and creates pockets for exploration to stimulate the senses and inspire imagination. Many thanks to those of you that participated in the in-person design jams and provided ideas through the community survey.
The NEA will create a safe and welcoming space for child-led unstructured play and discovery in nature as well as team building challenges to complement existing EcoCenter programs. Part of the India Basin project that is transforming industrial spaces and underperforming existing parks into a unified network of inspirational open spaces.
The proposed approximately 12,000 sq.ft site is between the EcoCenter and the parking area.
Concept Design Features:
- Boulders and locally sourced trees invite kids to jump, climb, and balance.
- A combination of fixed natural elements and loose parts provide ever-changing challenges shaped and designed by kids.
- Wacky posts of different sizes line the create-with-nature zone and provide opportunities to string hammocks or slack lines, hang bird houses, or create nature forts.
- The path winds to the highest point of the site where logs form a circular gathering space and space for reflection. Surrounded by native vegetation, this is a great spot for quiet contemplation, to use binoculars to spot birds, and for taking in views of the bay.
- Native plants selected to promote exploration with the 5 senses through color, texture and smell also create habitat for local wildlife.
- Taller native vegetation and natural elements create opportunities to fully immerse in nature and invite users to explore.
- Shortcuts created with boulders and logs offer alternate routes to and from the overlook.
Share your feedback on the concept design through this survey.
● April: Community Design
● Late May: Review Concept Design
● Late June: Design Finalized
● Fall 2021: Construction (1 – 2 weeks)
● TBD: Community event to celebrate the new Nature Exploration Area
More info: www.sfchildrennature.org/heronshead