We’re a not-for-profit organisation that started in 2014 with start-up funding from the South Australian Government. Our vision was simple – to get more children outside playing in nature. In their backyards, local parks and wilder places, like National Parks.
We have a passion for our children, and the children we engage, with strong beliefs that guide us both personally and professionally. We believe in family, community and the important role of adults have to play in connecting children with nature. And, it’s our belief in childhood that sees our team determinedly working to re-establish nature as an important, and irreplaceable, part of children’s lives.
Our start-up funding concluded in June 2018 and we’ve worked hard toward becoming entirely self-funded and continue to make great in-roads. This isn’t something we’ve achieved, or can can continue to achieve, on our own, but with the continued support of the Nature Play SA community we’ve grown since we began. And we are ever so thankful.
From little things big things grow
When Nature Play SA was established in 2014 we were a team of only two, with our first event attracting around 100 people. We were humbled that so many joined us in our quest to encourage children outside. At the time, we didn’t realise we were taking South Australia’s first exciting steps toward increasing children’s engagement with the natural environment, joining a movement that has emerged around the world – the children and nature movement.
Fast-forward to now and our events are booked out, with some attracting in excess of 7,000 people. We’ve seen nature play businesses, playgroups and local government programs develop and grow; a significant increase in nature play events being run across the state; the development of new and innovative nature play spaces; and, schools, preschools, OHSC and childcare centres transform their thinking to reflect nature play theory and practice. And we’re committed to seeing these initiatives strengthen and flourish through ongoing advocacy, leadership and support.
So here we are, three years later, riding the wave to get children and their families outside – at every possible opportunity. And doing it by working hand-in-hand with passionate educators, researchers, government bodies and organisations. We’ve made it this far thanks not only to our hardworking team of seven, but because of you. The families who attend our events and show us love, or spread the word, on social media and the passionate educators, researchers and organisations who value and contribute to the change we are making. It really does take a village. So let’s keep the swell rolling. From little things, big things grow.