Engaging A Neighborhood With The Natural World

Nature play isn’t just for people living in rural areas. This urban park in Lafayette Colorado proves it.

Nature Play in Lafayette Colorado

With the grand opening of the Nature Discovery Area & Inspire Trail in Lafayette, CO a neighborhood of low income residents can now engage with the natural world in a densely populated, urbanized area of the city.

A great example of nature play is these kids splashing through a stream water feature at Nature Discovery Area & Inspire Trail in Lafayette, Colorado

Funded by a GOCO Inspire Grant, the project includes an exploration area for play and discovery, one mile of new trail into downtown Lafayette, and community gathering in a natural setting.

Envisioned as an equity project, it allows economically limited residents access to the same types of natural resources available throughout other parts of the City.

Kids p[aying on tree log at Nature Discovery Area & Inspire Trail in Lafayette, Colorado

Kids p[aying on tree log at Nature Discovery Area & Inspire Trail in Lafayette, Colorado

Nature Play Features

Most of the components of this park are ones not typically found at a school playground or even at a public park. Features include: logs, stumps, boulders, sand, water, trees, plants, mud and bugs!


Funded by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Nature Kids Discovery Zone was made possible by a coveted Inspire Grant with additional financial support from many other sources.

Project partners included the City of Lafayette, Boulder Valley School District, Thorne Nature Experience, and a local coalition called Nature Kids/Jovenes de Naturaleza formed to support this work.

A broad range of additional stakeholders were involved in planning and design such as Mile High Drainage District, Lafayette Public Works, the City Open Space Board, and several non-profit entities.

The Nature Kids Discovery Zone, located on the school grounds of Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School, will be managed by the City of Lafayette Open Space in a unique partnership to serve the local community.

Our role

Our team was involved early in the grant process, helping with outreach, developing maps, plans, studies, and graphics and visioning with other stakeholders. We then took on the design and helped navigate this three year project through construction, finally completed in 2019.

We’re thrilled to be involved in such a feel-good project, and to help realize a successful finished product!

Learn more on our Sanchez Nature Play project page of this nature play in Lafayette Colorado below

Project Partners