Author Archives: Ed Melvin

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August 14, 2017, by Ed Melvin

Five Ways to Reimagine Boundaries: Outdoor education must be fun and must be safe. Here’s how to marry the two.

You’ve probably heard the age-old saying, “Think outside the box.” It insinuates that creativity, curiosity and imagination should be limitless, should transcend boundaries. And that’s a good thing when it comes to education; children of all ages should learn that when it comes to dreaming, their imaginations should be allowed to roam, unfettered. The only […]

July 28, 2017, by Ed Melvin

Nature-Based Preschool National Conference Resources

  From the presentation, Design Process for Outdoor Learning Environments: Licensure and Certification Programs: Local Licensure: Public Health Law Center, state by state licensing law database National Association for the Education of Young Children:  Revised Criteria and Guidance for Assessment North American Association for Environmental Education:  Guidelines for Excellence:  Early Childhood Environmental Education Programs Safety […]

July 17, 2017, by Ed Melvin

What Does Your Playground Sound Like?

Remove yourself from this moment and return to the time when you were nine years old, full of hope and wonder. Visit your favorite playground; maybe it is the school yard, the neighborhood park, an empty wooded lot or Grandma’s garden. What do you hear? What does your playground sound like? Little voices are calling […]

June 29, 2017, by Ed Melvin

What Is a Playground For?

What is a playground for? Fun, certainly. Exploration, without a doubt. Discovery and curiosity, yes and yes! Whatever the answer to this question, it is clear a playground should not be an afterthought, a leftover piece of land with some equipment, fall protection and very little thought. Rather, it should be understood to be an […]

March 9, 2016, by Ed Melvin

The Meaning and Purpose of Scale

As a landscape architect, I’m constantly considering scale. There’s physical scale – demonstrated through size and surroundings. There’s comfort scale and emotional scale, which both define how attitudes and feelings are regularly impacted. There’s also scales of complexity and challenge, where mental, physical and social discovery can occur in an unknown setting. The interesting thing […]

July 7, 2015, by Ed Melvin

My Passion: The Value of Outdoor Learning

To be honest, I didn’t even know landscape architecture existed before I went to college. My favorite place has always been the forest and my pastime drawing, so when I discovered I’d be able to spend my career combining the two and contribute to the built environment in a positive way, I knew I must […]

August 27, 2013, by Ed Melvin

Seeing: The Ottoman Waits

I began to photograph things while I was still in elementary school.  I do not remember the first type of camera nor why my family agreed it was a good idea.  As I read about photography, I found that the recommendations were same as art teachers would say.  “draw what you see’.  So I began […]

March 19, 2013, by Ed Melvin

In A Spare Moment

Recently I participated in my first ever employee review as I have for much of my career worked alone.  In joining SHP back in September of last year, I gave myself a couple important tasks to do.  One of these was to allow myself to be known as a person and a resource within the […]