The Guilford Center Village Natural Playscape is a volunteer community endeavor, managed by the Guilford Recreation Commission. Volunteers from the Community of Guilford came together to transform a vacant town-owned lot into an enriching play space for families and community members. The aim of this project was to create a natural area that has features for exploratory and imaginative play while integrating into the existing landscape. The project aligns with the initiatives in the Guilford Town Plan to revitalize Guilford Center Village and create community spaces for positive interactions between neighbors, while maintaining the natural aesthetics that Guilford residents expect to see in their town. The Guilford Center Village Natural Playscape is geared towards providing community members with a location to connect with one another, while appreciating a natural environment, with stimulating and interesting opportunities for play and exercise. The Playscape is available to all community members, though, is geared towards those families with young children.
The Guilford Recreation Commission is managing the growth and development of the Playscape at this time, and has a volunteer group of 12 community members who are active with the Playscape projects. The volunteer group identified a list of projects that would enhance the use of the Playscape. On this list included a gardening education program, which benefit from some raised bed gardens, fertile soil, a compost bin and a hand powered water pump to water the plants from the Broad Brook, which runs along the property edge.
The Guilford Homeschooling group meets weekly at the Playscape and address healthy food education, promotion, and gardening education in their curriculum. Children are taught through hands on learning at the Playscape during planting, watering, weeding, composting and harvesting the vegetables that are grown. All community members are welcomed to participate in tending to the gardens during all of its phases through the Spring, Summer and Fall and are encouraged to pick a vegetable to eat while enjoying some fresh air and exercise at the Playscape.