Charter Homes & Neighborhoods Will Create Pennsylvania`s First TerraPark Natural Playground in Mechanicsburg`s Walden Neighborhood
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MECHANICSBURG, Pa.--(Business Wire)-- Charter Homes & Neighborhoods announced that it will create a 1.5-acre TerraPark® natural playground, in its Mechanicsburg (PA) Walden neighborhood, as part of the 9.5 acre Walden Woods. It is the first of its kind to be built as part of a new-home neighborhood and the first in Pennsylvania. It will open for play in September, 2009. Natural playgrounds are designed to provide opportunities for kids to climb trees, roll down hills, scramble up rocks, listen to the wind, track animals, make mud pies, dam-up water, hide in the grass, build forts and invent new games. Unlike manufactured playgrounds, kids actually play in these miniature natural landscapes, which look and feel as if they`ve been there forever. A TerraPark, exclusive to Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, is a natural playground that combines landscape elements, sun paths, weather patterns, drainage courses, plant groupings and other site features with natural materials, structures, and features to create safe, accessible, age-appropriate natural play areas. Walden Woods has been incorporated into the Walden plan since early on. It is the main focus of neighborhood activities and provides significant public, outdoor space, that enriches the lives of people who live in Walden. At Monday's groundbreaking ceremony Rob Bowman, president of Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, said: "For a kid-at-heart like me who loves to play in the dirt on a grand scale, creating a natural playground just makes sense. While amazing things provide all of us with wonderful opportunities for entertainment and learning, nothing comes close to getting close to the land we live on, running around until you get tired and experiencing that great sense of what it`s like to play for fun. Few places other than the outdoors can create the same sense of wonder and imagination as a great place to play. This space is an example of Charter`s development principle to `Go Green First,` saving the most significant spaces on a property for public space instead of relegating it to what is left. This TerraPark will be a place like no other in the development world." The Walden Woods Green`s TerraPark natural playground was designed by architect Ron King, president and founder of the New Hampshire-based Natural Playgrounds Company, a design firm that specializes in natural play environments and for child care centers, schools, and communities. King noted, "Manufactured playgrounds challenge children's physical development but do very little to challenge their emotional, social and cognitive creativity. Our natural play environments look like miniature natural landscapes. They`re full of intriguing play and learning opportunities just waiting to be discovered by children of all ages." The design principles of natural playgrounds are based on interviews with more than 5,000 children conducted by the Natural Playgrounds Company and the results of scores of other research studies about how children play and the developmental benefits of various types of play. ABOUT THE WALDEN NEIGHBORHOOD Charter Homes & Neighborhoods` Walden Neighborhood, the best-selling location on Harrisburg`s West Shore, is a 171-acre neighborhood that will include the retail-focused Crossroads, modeled after many of the small, mixed-use areas where people can walk to work or spend time. It also includes a mix of single-family and town homes designed to create a rich streetscape and a texture that gets better over time. As part of the development process, 34 acres of the site were dedicated to Silver Spring Township for additional park and recreational use. In nine planned phases, the neighborhood will include 644 homes. Walden is inspired by the many cherished villages of Central Pennsylvania and includes a fully equipped fitness center; a stately gathering hall; and a two-acre nature preserve with Blue Mountain views. It is located in Silver Spring Township near Route 114, I-81 and Carlisle Pike. ABOUT CHARTER HOMES & NEIGHBORHOODS Charter Homes & Neighborhoods is Central Pennsylvania`s largest independent homebuilder. Its portfolio of neighborhoods embodies the company`s guiding principles that "Build to Respect" and are represented by the region`s most recognizable new home neighborhoods, including MillCreek, Veranda and Florin Hill in Lancaster County. In 2008, the company closed on 177 homes. Charter Homes & Neighborhoods has been recognized nationally as a "Best Place to Work" by Professional Builder and also locally by the Central Penn Business Journal. ABOUT THE NATURAL PLAYGROUNDS COMPANY Natural Playgrounds Company designs and builds green, sustainable playgrounds. It is the leading U.S. expert in the design and construction of innovative, environmentally sensitive, equipment-free natural playgrounds, natural playground elements, and outdoor classrooms, for K-12 schools, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, childcare centers and communities. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=5981128&lang=en for Charter Homes & Neighborhoods thePRguy incorporated David Kirk, APR 610-422-0048 DavidKirk@thePRguy.com Copyright Business Wire 2009
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