Seward Child Care

Mississippi River Play Yard

Fireflies Play Environment Inc. and Close Landscape Architecture


Parents and staff of preschoolers sought a play environment based on natural and educational elements. A Mississippi River Bluffs theme evolved from the close proximity of the school to the unique river gorge.

Two bluff islands lined with natural rock out-croppings, increased circulation. An embankment slide, trike track, storage, play house, sandbox, water feature, and pergola with a swing greatly increased the play options. River birch shade the site, as river animal foot prints stroll along the sidewalk. 

In phase two, Mississippi River fossils were proposed to be sandblasted into the rock stairs leading to the hill fort.  

Major funding was provided by a McKnight Grant.  


Play environments that engage children & the natural world