A study of nature play space sustainability in the Piedmont Region of Maryland

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Towson University. Environmental Science and Studies Program

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Most of the United States population lives in urban areas, where heightened anthropogenic activity acts as a source of the majority of greenhouse gases (Hoornweg, 2011). Adaptive ways to deal with regional land management efforts need to be addressed in an effort to combat the effects of spreading urbanization (Roling, 1997). A positive environmental ethic is developed through children's regular contact with nature, as well as substantial nature-based play (Bunting and Cousins, 1985). This paper proposes targeting the age when children first begin developing their bond with earth to harness a generation of environmentally conscious thinkers that will integrate sustainable practices in their behaviors and careers (Sobel, 1994). The most rapidly urbanizing region of Maryland, the Piedmont, can be studied to discern the present-day perspectives of best sustainable practices for naturalization of outdoor spaces specifically targeted to children ages four to seven years old in that area.