Due to a heat index exceeding 90 degrees, the Millennium Trail and Elm Lick Trail will remain closed until further notice.

Bernheim Forest’s 10-acre natural playground opens this weekend

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: WLKY
May 20, 2021

Click here to view video.

More than a year in the making, Bernheim Forest’s big, natural playground is opening to the public this weekend.

It’s a whopping 10 acres for kids to play free in what forest officials call a “playcosystem.”

“A playcosystem is designed in harmony with nature to provide children with open-ended, physically challenging, and unstructured play opportunities that support healthy development,” Claude Stephens with Bernheim wrote at the start of construction.

The playcosystem will have three zones, but only the first is opening right away: the nature playground.

It has constructed areas to meet the developmental needs of young children, forest officials said.

'playcosystem' at bernheim
Hearst Owned

The other zones are TreeCess, which is described as a park-like setting, and Adventure Forest, which will have “free range to unstructured exploration.” A date for their opening was not provided.

So what’s so special about a playground like this?

According to Bernheim officials, it’s a way to connect kids with nature. They said research shows that natural playgrounds stimulate imagination, boost energy level and increase time spent playing. They say in natural settings, children engage more creatively and learn to navigate healthy risk.

'playcosystem' at bernheim
Hearst Owned

The first part of the park opens to the public this Saturday. It’s across from the visitor center.

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is located at 2499 Clermont Road in Clermont, Kentucky.

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