Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2015


College of Arts and Sciences


Family and Child Development


Outdoor Play, Nature-Based Play, Community Programs, Environmental Education


Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences


With the intent of determining best practices and recommended methods of incorporating outdoor and/or nature-based play in community programs, this thesis reviews existing literature and documents the results of four different community organization interviews. Each of the organizations provides family and child community programs and incorporates outdoor recreation in their programming. The author posed a series of six questions and found that some of the participant’s responses were congruent with previous research while others provided new information. Their observations were both unique to their organization and relevant to similar programs. With that said, the author was unable to identify a best practice approach because methods of integration vary between programs. However, the data confirmed that outdoor and/or nature-based play is important to communities and should be a priority in programming.