JP Green School is building an ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND in Central Jamaica Plain



What’s that?!?!

Adventure Playgrounds have been around since the 1930s, when Danish landscape architect C. Th. Sørensen noticed how rarely children preferred structured play at playgrounds to more exploratory play in the dirt and mud of undeveloped lots. He proposed that urban areas especially needed “a junk playground in which children could create and shape, dream and imagine a reality.”

There are hundreds of Adventure Playgrounds in Europe, but very few in the US, due to concerns over liability, visibly messy spaces, and the fear of letting children take risks. JP Green School is fortunate to have a great outdoor space with supportive landlords, and we are putting all the pieces in place to open an Adventure Playground in May.

Our philosophy of play-based and self-directed learning allows children to explore and take risks. We manage the risk through adequate staffing and safety measures, and we believe it can be done safely to maximize freedom and minimize parental fear.

What are you doing?

On the large playground at Hope Central Church, the home-base for JP Green School, we are designating an area of about 10000 square feet for adventure play and building.

We will set up a TOOL SHED with hand tools, and a variety of materials for building and play: Cardboard, wood, duct-tape, nails, bicycle parts, tubes, wire, rope, paint, clay, brushes–etc. Any non-hazardous creative materials will be welcome. Kids will also create with water, mud, sticks and branches, rocks, trees, pine cones and all varieties of Nature’s original “toys”.

Trained “playworkers” will be on hand at all time to supervise for safety, and to instruct kids in how to use tools. Otherwise, they will hold back and let the kids lead. Adventure play is not directed by adults!  The area for adventure play will be bounded and kept separate from the rest of the playground.

When can we visit?

We expect to open in May, 2019, to the public, afternoons and weekends. Until then we’ll be “prototyping” the model in our classes, and you are welcome to visit.

Want to learn more? Volunteer? Donate materials? Help us build this?
Email us at


This is the closest Adventure Playground in the country, in NYC.

Most of the existing adventure playgrounds in this country are in California. Are we surprised?

The Junk Playground of NYC
A good article about the NYC playground.

The Overprotected Kid
An article about one of the original models, “The Land” in Wales.