About Us



Camille C. Calderaro founded Fireflies Play Environments, Inc. in 1994. The first born of a Sicilian entrepreneur and Irish poet, she grew up a “free-range child” exploring and building forts in the arroyos of Arizona and ravines of Northern California. As luck would have it, Camille’s daughter attended Glendale Child Development Center with a play environment designed by Jim Greenman. This exposure to his “Caring Places, Learning Spaces” has led to over two decades of work in children’s environments. 

She earned a BS in Art and Anthropology and a BLA and Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. She is a full member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and became a NPSI Certified Playground Safety Inspector, and Executive Board Member for YMCA Camp Warren. 

Playgrounds liberate children to do what they do best, they play. The quality of the play experience is essential to shaping physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy children. At no time in history have children had as many options in play environments, Children’s Discovery Gardens, Creative Playgrounds, Botanical Gardens, Exploratoriums, Adventure Playgrounds, Children’s Zoos, Environmental Ed Play Yards and Family Nature Play Dates offer endless opportunities. 

With the current research and concern about “nature deficit disorder”, our goal is to set the stage for un-programmed, self-directed play, for example, found in a traditional camp experience and, to encourage the un-plugging of our children’s lives by simply opening the door to explore the secret worlds in their own backyards. 

Natural Playgrounds, whatever form they may take, are elemental to our children’s whole development into fully realized adults; therein lies the stewardship of our planet. “We are nature.”

We believe there is nothing better than a relaxing, fun “chat and chew” to discuss the importance of the quality of the play experience.


The Mystical, Magical Natural Pre-School Playgrounds

Article by Camille Calderaro Natural Playgrounds

Who we are, how we think.

An article written by Camille C. Calderaro


read article here

Cool Sites

Explore these sites for more information


Natural Learning Initiative Green Desk


Children and Nature Network 

Natural Gardening Association 

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Children’s play yard 

Boston Schoolyard Initiative 

“Adventure Playgrounds; A Children’s World in the City”


Rusty Keeler

Lunning Wende Associates 

Sustainable and Educational Architecture 

Scott Wende and Bob Lunning 

Balanced and Barefoot

By Angela J. Hansom, Pediatric Occupational Therapist 

Bill Bleckwenn RLA, LEED 

Natural Resource Planner 

Aloha Landscaping, Inc. 

Roger Grothe, Contractor 

Roy Construction 

Certified Berliner Installer 

Visual Artist 

Teresa Cox 

Labyrinth Design 

William Frost 

Institute of Energy Arts 

Michael Smith 

Environmental Artist 

Andrew Goldsworthy

Children’s Landscapes in Norway 

Svane Frode: Transforming the Schoolyard, Step-by-step 



National Wildlife Federation


"We are Nature"