The Urbana Park District has been awarded the Governor's Hometown Award for the playscape which opened in 2017. Here is the full press release:

Governor Bruce Rauner’s office has informed Urbana Park District that the Anita Purves Nature Center’s Friendship Grove Nature Playscape won the Governor’s Hometown Award for environmental stewardship.

Urbana Park District will receive the award at a special ceremony in Springfield, November 15.

The Nature Playscape opened in April of 2017.

“The Park District is pleased to receive this award on behalf of the entire community,” said Timothy Bartlett, Chief Executive Officer at Urbana Park District. “The public helped us from the first plan, through fundraising, through the grand opening and every point in between.”

The Nature Playscape helps children at many levels. “This interactive playscape engages children of all ages in imaginative and active outdoor play with nature,” said Savannah Donovan, Environmental Public Program Coordinator at Anita Purves Nature Center. She continued, “The playscape is a hands-on, kid-directed outdoor play space for kids that is led by their imagination and ingenuity.”

And, the Nature Playscape is for everyone. Donovan explained, “Together, parents and their children are immersed in nature as they explore, experiment, socialize and manipulate the environment. The playscape provides accessible play opportunities for a wide variety of physical and cognitive abilities.”

Over 8,000 people visited the Nature Playscape since its opening in 2017.

The playscape is at Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway in Urbana.

“We are thrilled that our Nature Playscape is recognized by the governor’s office. Children who visit will learn about nature and the environment all while having fun,” Donovan concluded.

Photo from the Anita Purves Facebook page