Harris Nature Center Opens Beaver Lodge Playground

Harris Nature Center Opens Beaver Lodge Playground

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - On Wednesday night, Harris Nature Center officially opened a new, and unique, play area with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The new playground is meant to resemble a beaver's lodge, giving children a fun, educational, place to play. The Beaver Lodge was designed by David VanderKlok of Studio [intrigue] Architects, with the help of the Harris Nature Center and students from the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

VanderKlok recalls, "I said 'What do you need to do?' They didn't bring a single piece of paper, so they got on their phone and found a picture of a beaver lodge and said 'We decided to come up with a concept for a beaver lodge, but we don't know what that is. We just know that we met with some young children and they wanted to experience what it is like to be a beaver.'"

Ultimately VanderKlok decided to take the project on due to its potential for creativity. He said he could have easily designed a simple hut that closely resembled a beaver's lodge, but instead designed a two-level play structure with a glass ceiling representing the surface of a pond, complete with grip-tape lily pads.

The glass alone cost $5,000 and was funding through a GoFundMe campaign. Many of the other materials, including the locally harvested sticks that make up much of the structure.

The Harris Nature Center would like to thank all their volunteers and everyone who donated to the Beaver Lodge.

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