The Nature Explore Classroom at Malkusak Residence Play Garden
Antonio Malkusak and his family looked at the opportunities that their back yard presented and applied the Nature Explore Classroom concepts to the large empty space.
This yard is now a wonderful neighborhood hub of outdoor activity and the first certified Nature Explore Classroom located in a private, back yard setting.
As a landscape artist and father, Antonio saw the great benefits of creating an outdoor space in his back yard that was also a learning space. A place where children could spend endless hours engaged in discovery and imaginative play. A variety of plant materials are used to define spaces and bring wildlife into areas that children and adults use.
Materials were chosen for sustainability, durability, aesthetics and low maintenance. Special care was taken to incorporate many child-sized areas which can be easily seen by adults during supervision. A simple, clean look is incorporated into the Play Garden that can adapt to the needs of the children over time. The space is infused with loose parts, natural and man-made.
The Mud Kitchen, The Prairie, the Sand Traps are names that the Malkusak family have given to the specific areas. Antonio says that the children have been the best “idea generators” during the evolution of the play garden. They have helped with design and patterns, use, function, storage, organization and maintenance. The children look forward to each new project and cannot wait until their pond-less waterfall is installed.